The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced last week that a new route has been added to the Express Connect bus program.

Starting this week and upon the agreement between the MMDA and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), a new route will be added covering passengers coming from Mother Ignacia Street in Quezon City to Ayala Avenue in Makati City and vice-versa.

Initially reluctant to the expansion of routes due to low patronage, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino agreed to add a new route in order to also increase awareness and revenue for the Express Connect bus workers.

"We have to prove that the project is viable before we talk about expansion," said Tolentino.

In related news, the MMDA has also announced that with the addition of the new route and the current operations problem that has beset the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) the entire 50-unit fleet of Express Connect buses will be utilized. 

Until last week, only 27 buses have been used but starting this week, 23 will be added to the routes with 8 units dedicated to ferrying passengers affected by the disruption of MRT service.

The agencies involved are also in talks about extending the Express Connect bus program until the end of the year.