Buses to make up for reduced train capacity in Metro Manila – Tugade

Buses in dedicated lanes will be used to make up for the reduced capacity of trains in Metro Manila once the megacity goes into general community quarantine (GCQ) on June 1, said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

"To augment trains, we will have a bus augmentation system. Buses follow the same line. We will achieve more or less the same volume of passengers that move," he said on Thursday, May 28, during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Under GCQ, public transportation will finally resume after nearly two months (here's a comprehensive guide on rules for every type of transport).

However, the number of passengers that trains, jeepneys, buses, and airplanes will be able to accommodate will be greatly reduced due to the need for physical distancing.

In the case of trains, passengers who can't be accommodated can opt to use the buses.

These buses will exclusively use the "mid lane" of EDSA, a major Metro Manila thoroughfare. The system will involve 300 to 500 buses and include point-to-point or P2P buses, said Tugade.

He further reported that the Department of Transportation plans to more aggressively roll out cashless payment systems in taxis, buses, and modernized jeepneys to lessen contact between persons.

Groups have warned against a brewing disaster in public transportation with the easing of quarantine measures. (READ: Will public transportation be enough once Metro Manila is placed under GCQ?)

With more people now allowed to work and a reduction in capacity of transportation systems, commuters may be forced to wait in long lines, thereby increasing chances of virus spread.

Traveling from zone to zone

Starting June 1, air travel will be allowed from one GCQ area to another GCQ area, said Tugade.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said barangay-issued quarantine passes are no longer required under GCQ. However, travel passes are still needed for traveling from one province or region to another. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.