Yesterday’s provincial bus situation had commuters up in arms. After the MMDA announced provincial bus window hours for those going to and from Metro Manila, those who were left stranded went straight to the internet to air out their concerns. The travel window hours for provincial buses have been set for 10:00 PM – 5:00 AM only, per the MMDA. That’s just not enough, and according to citizens, is just unfair.
The MMDA announced the return of provincial buses along EDSA last month following a two-week dry run. The LTFRB, in turn, addressed the “non-announcement” as due to the window hours being an agreement between the MMDA and the bus operators. But what is the LTFRB’s plan to solve this newest woe to provincial bus users?
Executive Director of the LTFRB Maria Kristina Cassion has since responded to social media posts of provincial bus companies regarding their new travel hours. As we also mentioned in our article yesterday, the agency reiterated that the permits to operate that they gave to bus companies hold them responsible and able “to transport passengers at any given time when there is passenger demand, and not only at nighttime as they have announced in several platforms”. What exactly does this mean for commuters, then?
While arrivals and departures in and from bus terminals in Metro Manila can only be made between 10:00 PM and 5:00 PM, provincial buses whose origins and points of arrival fall outside those times must only be at the following integrated exchange terminals:
- Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange for buses coming from and going to Calabarzon provinces, Mimaropa and Bicol
- Northern Luzon Express Terminal to those going to and coming from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, and Central Luzon
- Santa Rosa Integrated Terminal to those to and from Visayas and Mindanao provinces.
As for the main terminal in Araneta Center Cubao, it can only be a point of origin or destination for those going to and are coming from Central Luzon and Calabarzon.
The LTFRB has also reiterated its warning that they will hold provincial bus operators accountable if they do not comply with their permits’ clause to carry out trips “at any given time”. No specific penalties were given, but we’d like to believe that the bus companies are well aware of them.
And there you have it, some early morning news that we hope sheds a brighter light on a most relevant (and taxing) issue. In any case, we’re all for the convenience of everyone, including the commuting public. Please make it safer and easier for everyone, Philippines. To the LTFRB and MMDA, working together for the common good won’t be so bad.