The country is already on its third week under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and people have started going back to their respective jobs. But since public transportation options are still limited, commuters are having a hard time catching a ride on their way to their place of work.
To help the riding public, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has activated 29 bus routes in Metro Manila. The public utility buses (PUBs) plying the said routes will cover vast distances and will have plenty of pick-up/drop-off points for commuters to alight or board.
First up are routes 1 to 4 which covers Monumento – Balagtas, Monumento – PITX, Monumento – Valenzuela Gateway Complex, and North EDSA – Fairview, respectively.
Routes 5 and 6, on the other hand, will see PUBs ferry passengers from Quezon Avenue – Angat, Bulacan, and Quezon Avenue – EDSA Taft. Meanwhile, routes 7 and 8 spans from Quezon Avenue – Montalban, Rizal, and Cubao – Montalban, Rizal.
Those that need to get to Taytay, Rizal from Gilmore in Quezon City can take a bus on route 11. Commuters that need a ride going to Bonifacio Global City (BGC) from Buendia Avenue in Makati can catch a bus on route 13. Those living south of the metro in Alabang can now also take a bus to Ayala in Makati via route 14. As for route 15, it will ferry commuters from Centro Mall in Binan, Laguna all the way to Glorietta 5 in Ayala Avenue in Makati.
Routes 16, 18, and 21 will cater to commuters traveling at Ayala – FTI Complex, PITX – NAIA Loop, and the Monumento – San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan routes, accordingly. For commuters that need to go to Cavite, routes 24, 27, 28, and 29 are available and loop back to PITX. Finally, there's route 25 that travels from Starmall in Alabang all the way to Market! Market! in BGC.
Besides these bus routes, the DOTr also activated bus augmentation units that serve to provide additional transportation options for commuters that usually take the LRT-1, LRT-2, and MRT-3.
The first one can ferry commuters from Monumento all the way to EDSA Taft (LRT-1). The second route, on the other hand, covers Araneta Center in Cubao to Robinsons Antipolo in Rizal since the Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas stations along LRT-2 are not yet operational. Last but not least is the bus route from North EDSA to Taft which augments the MRT-3 line.
Both the DOTr and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) believe that these rationalized routes will give commuters an easier time getting around Metro Manila. They also are also reminding the riding public and those operating the buses to strictly follow health and physical distancing protocols as the threat of COVID-19 is still present.
In the future, the DOTr plans to put up more bus routes in Metro Manila in order to further help commuters that need to catch a ride home or on their way to work.