DOTr to deploy 160 additional buses along MRT-3 route for Holy Week
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Monday that 160 more buses were given special permits to transport passengers along the route of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) during the Holy Week when the train line will be shut down for maintenance.
These buses, which will be added to the 140 already deployed on Monday, will load and unload passengers at MRT-3 stations from North Avenue to Taft Avenue from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. from April 15 to 17 and April 20 to 21.
The DOTr, however, did not specify when the additional buses will be deployed.
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade urged bus operators to help in the department’s Bus Augmentation Program, noting that the passengers of MRT-3 reach 320,000 to 350,000 daily.
“Sa ating mga kasamahang bus operator, malaki ‘ho ang maitutulong niyo sa ating mga commuter kung kayo’y sasali at magbibigay tulong sa programang ito (For our bus operators, you can help our commuters if you support this program),” Tugade said in a statement.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra, meanwhile, assured bus operators of fast application and processing of special permits for the buses.
“Ang kailangan lang po, pumunta sila sa LTFRB, didikitan sila ng stickers at bibigyan sila ng fare matrix. Sa ganitong pagkakataon, kailangan namin ang kooperasyon ng mga bus operator,” Delgra said in the same statement.
The DOTr noted that this year’s MRT-3’s maintenance shutdown is longer compared to previous years as he asked for patience from commuters.
“Hinihingi namin ang pang-unawa ng ating mananakay dahil ginagawa natin ang lahat ng paraan para ma-restore sa pinakamabilis na paraan ang ating MRT,” DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said.
(We are asking for your understanding because we are doing everything to restore in the fastest way our MRT.)
“Batid po natin na talagang sira o nasa degraded mode ang MRT ngayon kaya’t napakalaki ng pangangailangan ng pagkukumpuni (We also know that we need to do a lot to repair the MRT trains),” he added.
The MRT-3 is expected to resume operations on Monday (April 22) at 5:30 a.m. /ee