Here's another potentially game changing idea for Metro Manila commuters thanks to Ramon Ang and San Miguel Corporation.
SMC just announced that it is considering and planning to run the country’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system on their newly expanded elevated expressway: the Skyway. SMC says that the BRT system will allow buses to function like trains that can ferry large numbers of passengers, and stopping only at designated stations.
“As early as 2017, we had already been considering the bus rapid transit system on the Skyway as a means to further decongest traffic in Metro Manila and transform the commuting experience of many Filipinos. In fact, we already announced plans for this back then,” said Ramon S. Ang, president of SMC.
With Skyway Stage 3 now in place, the BRT system could be closer to reality than we think. The goal is to have the BRT running from Susanna Heights in Muntinlupa City, to Balintawak in Quezon City near North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). Currently, the company is doing studies and formulating plans which they will present to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
“We’re very excited to start discussions on this. The most important thing is that the platform is already here—the completed elevated Skyway system—and this BRT or high-capacity P2P system will make commutes faster and better for many Filipinos,” added Ang.
As for the buses themselves, Ang said that they will run on a controlled route. This means they are not allowed to deviate off-course or make unscheduled stops along the way. This will allow the BRT system to run efficiently and be on time for commuters.
But aside from implementing the BRT system for Skyway, Ang added that they also plan on making this available on their future projects.
“While we are looking to implement this on the Skyway system from Susanna Heights to Balintawak, in the future, we can also implement this for our other new projects, in order to expand the area of coverage. Our expressways are really designed not just for motorists, but also to serve as a platform for efficient and sustainable mass transportation,” said Ang.
When will the new BRT system be put in place? There’s no exact timeline yet according to SMC. But if the plan becomes a reality, commuters will be able to travel along Skyway and get to their destinations faster and decongest public transport on EDSA, including the MRT-3.