The EDSA Busway 24/7 Libreng Sakay program has officially ended. As of the start of 2023, specifically on January 1 (of all days), bus rides are no longer free for passengers and fares will already be collected. While the program has serviced numerous commuters in the past year, all good things do come to an end, and the DOTr and LTFRB have provided a matrix on the fares that will start being collected.
Libreng Sakay is no more, here’s the new Fare Matrix on the EDSA Busway
We can remember that last year, the Department of Transportation needed an additional PHP 1.4B to keep the Libreng Sakay program running until the end of 2022. Fortunately, that budget was approved and given. The said funding was able to subsidize the free rides given to commuters daily, which truly was a godsend.
At the turn of the year, Libreng Sakay will cease operations, and while buses will still be plying from the EDSA Busway/carousels, commuters won’t get free rides anymore.
The matrix that you see above is for the southbound bus route. There are 21 busways/carousels where commuters can start their travels, and the prices range anywhere from PHP 15.00 to PHP 75.50.
On the other hand, there are 19 busways/carousels that will service commuters who are headed northbound. The lowest fare to be collected is also PHP 15.00 while the farthest travel (PITX to Monumento) will come with a PHP 73.00 tag.
The fares are based on a base fare starting at PHP 15.00 that covers the first five (5) kilometers of travel, with an additional PHP 2.65 added for every kilometer thereafter. Final amounts are rounded off to the nearest PHP 0.25. As a small reprieve, students who take the bus are still entitled to a fare discount that is no less than 20% of their total fare of the “approved adjusted fare everyday”. This discount will also be applicable on weekends and holidays.
All good things to do come to an end. The commuting public is most thankful for all the efforts that saw the Libreng Sakay program through to the end of 2022. We can only hope that both the DOTr and the LTFRB can find ways to bring the program back, but that might be wishful thinking. Still, if they do, then that would be a great help to ease the burden of commuters who have no other recourse but to take the bus on their daily travels daily.