With Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces of Laguna, Bulacan, Rizal, and Cavite, now under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) once more, public transportation has also been suspended. This means our already tired healthcare workers and medical frontliners that don’t have a private vehicle, will have a hard time catching rides to and from their homes and workplaces.
In order to help make the lives of our frontliners easier, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has launched a free ride program in the Greater Metro Manila area. Better yet, the bus and shuttle services will be operational 24/7. So no matter what time their shifts will be, our healthcare workers will always find a ride to and from their destinations.
According to the DOTr, 20 bus routes will be operational. Route 1 starts at Meralco (Mandalay) and will end at United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda). Passengers can also get off at MCU Hospital (Monumento) to transfer to Route 2. Route 2 begins at Valenzuela Gateway Complex, passes through Balintawak and MCU Hospital, and ends at United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda).
For those living in the North East/East, Route 3 buses will operate starting from SM City SJDM (Bulacan) and end at Centris Station (EDSA/Quezon Avenue). Route 4 begins at SM City Masinag and ends at The Medical City in Ortigas. Route 5 starts at Ortigas Hospital & Healthcare (Cainta) and ends at Rizal Medical Center. Buses plying Route 6 starts at the MRT-3 Cubao/Araneta Center ending at Philippine General Hospital. Route 7 buses will loop between The Medical City (Ortigas) and VRP Medical Center.
Those living in the south may take Route 8, which gets them from Starmall – Alabang to St. Lukes Medical Center in BGC. Route 9 buses will loop between Vista Mall, Daang Hari, and United Doctors Medical Center (Welcome Rotonda), connecting south and north. Route 10 covers RITM and Starmall Alabang. From Starmall Alabang, passengers may take Route 11 which ends at Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Meanwhile, Route 12 has 13 stops starting from Dasmarinas, Pala Pala ending at Manila Doctor’s Hospital.
Further down south, Route 13 buses will start from Seaoil Imus Daang Hari/Aguinaldo and end at Starmall Alabang. Route 14 begins at SM City Taytay up until St. Lukes Medical Center (E.Rodriguez). Frontliners going up north from the south may take Route 15 starting at SLEX Sucat Exit all the way to Philippine General Hospital. Route 16 buses ply SM City San Mateo to Robinsons Galleria.
Buses plying Route 17 will start at SM City SJDM and end at SM Fairview/Commonwealth Hospital & MC. Route 18 buses will begin from LRT-1 Monumento and ending at Baclaran Market. Catering to those in the South East Area, Route 19 buses will ply First Cabuyao Hospital and Medical Center up to Starmall Alabang. Lastly, Route 20 will begin at SM Masinag and end at Philippine General Hospital.
The DOTr did not list the arrival and departure times of the buses per route. However, they did list down the contact numbers of the staging areas which you can check out above. They have also created a map to help see all the stops each route will take by clicking this link or by checking out the DOTr Facebook page.
Given that the country already has more than 112,000 confirmed cases as of writing, our healthcare workers need all of the support they can get. The last thing they should experience is having a hard time commuting to and from their respective hospitals.