EDSA express bus service extended until May

MANILA, Philippines – The trial run of the government's express bus service along EDSA will be extended for another month, transportation officials said Thursday, April 23. 

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino said officials have agreed to implement adjustments in the bus system to encourage more riders to try out the service.

The Express Connect bus service, a joint project of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the MMDA, began its pilot run last March 23.

A total of 50 buses participated in the initial run of the project, which aimed to cut down travel time for commuters traveling from Fairview, Quezon City, to Makati City by making only one or two stops from the starting point to destination.

Robert Siy, DOTC senior adviser for planning, said 400 to 500 passengers ride the express buses daily, proving that there is a "strong demand" for the service.

Tolentino also said that the buses provide a viable alternative for commuters riding the Metro Rail Transit (MRT3), which has been suffering technical glitches in recent months.

The DOTC has proposed expanding the coverage of the bus service outside of EDSA, but Tolentino said more data and ridership statistics will be needed to further study the proposal.

The Express Connect service currently operates on these routes:

Since its one-month trial run, additional bus stops have been put up along the routes.

The southbound bus stops now include the following pickup points: Litex, Don Antonio, Tandang Sora, Central, Technohub, and Philcoa.

The northbound stops include pickup points in Litex, Batasan, and Montessori.

The express buses operate daily from 5 am to 9 pm. 

Passengers traveling to either the Makati central business district or Mall of Asia in Pasay City can board the buses at the MMDA's dispatch terminal in Fairview or at the various designated terminals.

To speed up travel time, the buses are exempted from the number coding system and are allowed to use the underpasses along EDSA.

They are also only allowed to stay for 20 seconds at the stations to pick up passengers.

Commuters can expect the arrival of an express bus at each station every 5 to 10 minutes. 

Transport agencies are hoping that the express bus service would encourage car users to shift to buses and free up congestion along EDSA. – Rappler.com