Passenger influx expected at bus terminals ahead of May 13 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2019   •   1299

Passenger flock to the Araneta Center Bus Port days three days before the 2018 midterm elections

Thousands of passengers bound for provinces are expected at the Araneta Center Bus Port in Cubao, Quezon City as the day of the midterm national and local elections approaches.

According to the bus port management, they are expecting the arrival of more than 8,000 passengers on Friday to secure tickets going to their respective provinces to cast their votes on May 13 (Monday) polls.

Passengers going to provinces for the election day are reminded to go to the terminal early and to travel light.

“Doon po sa mga hahabol pong pasahero mangyari lamang agahan na po nila ang pagpunta dito sa ating bus station at ganoon din sa ating bus port,” said Ramon Legazpi, Manager of Araneta Center Bus Station.

“Mangyari ay limitahan rin po nila iyong kanilang mga bagahe para hindi rin ito maging cause ng pagkakaantala ng biyahe ng mga bus,” he added.

Among the passengers who are trying to catch a ride home in time for the midterm polls is Evelyn Atazar. She is facing a 12-hour bus ride from Metro Manila to Masbate.

Although the travel towards home is long, bumpy and tiring, Atazar said, she is prepared to endure it in order to exercise her right to suffrage come Monday.

“Mahirap po ‘pag umuulan maputik, iyon ang ano namin sa barangay namin. Bundok talaga,” she added.

Some passengers, on the other hand, complained of longer bus intervals and congested waiting areas at the terminal due to the influx of passengers.

“Ngayon talaga ang hirap sumakay. Hindi nga namin alam kung makakasakay talaga kami kasi wala pang bus. Parating pa lang,” a passenger named Lydia Laurino said.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) called on taxi drivers to follow traffic rules, particularly the one that prohibits the loading and unloading of passengers at the terminal.

“Sinasabi na namin, ‘yung mga karatula basang basa na nila iyan. Kitang kita nila. Ayaw lang nila sundin. Nakikiusap kami kung pwede sana sumunod na lang sa panuntunan ng batas trapiko. Wag nang magdahilan,” said Bong Nebrija, the head of MMDA Edsa Traffic.

The MMDA earlier announced that the number coding scheme for provincial buses will be lifted on May 10 (Friday) and May 14 (Tuesday) to accommodate commuters who will go to their provinces to vote for the midterm polls.

READ: MMDA suspends number coding for provincial bus on May 10, 14

Nebrija said they are expecting heavy traffic along Edsa on Friday due to the lifting of the number coding scheme and last-minute campaigns of political parties and candidates. (with details from Mai Bermudez)

Gov’t agencies inspect Araneta Bus Terminal prior to Thursday’s influx of passengers

Maris Federez   •   October 30, 2019

Several government agencies conducted rounds and random checks at the Araneta Bus terminal in Quezon City on Wednesday (October 30).

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started early at 5 in the morning with its spokesperson, Celine Pialago, leading the breath analyzer testing on provincial bus drivers to ensure that they are not under the influence of alcohol.

The randomly selected 13 drivers were tested negative of alcohol test based on the breath analyzer equipment used.

“Well, ‘pag nag-positive po y’ong driver sa alhocol content, iho-hold po siya ng Araneta Center at kailangan po siyang papahingahin at papapalitan po ng driver para po tuluyang makabyahe y’ong unit po ng nasabing bus,” Pialago said.

The Land Transportation Officer (LTO), on the other hand, inspected the lights and the condition of the tires and brakes of passenger buses.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), meanwhile, checked the roadworthiness of the bus units.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said passenger buses must have security and dash cameras installed on their units: otherwise, the operators shall be meted out with P5,000 fine.

They also urge passengers to immediately call out the drivers when they notice or encounter problems while on their trip.

“I have reminded them na kung mag-o-overspeeding y’ong driver o kaya hindi maayos y’ong pagda-drive, sabi ko sa mga pasahero, sila na mismo ang sisita sa driver. Sila na mismo kasi they are there on the road in the bus while they are traveling,” the LTFRB chief said.

The Movie and Television Review and Regulatory Board (MTRCB) also conducted an inspection of the kind of movies being shown inside the buses.

MTRCB chairperson Maria Rachel Arenas said that only films or programs with PG rating or are suitable for children must be played inside the bus.

Personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), and the Quezon City Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS) are doing rounds in the centers of public conveyance.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is also on 24-hour standby starting on Tuesday (October 29) until Monday (November 4).

As more people are expected to travel on Thursday (October 31), bus terminal authorities warn the public against bringing prohibited materials such as bladed weapons, flammable items, and alcoholic drinks. (from the report of Asher Cadapan, Jr.) /mbmf

Ticket sales at Araneta city bus port still lean

Maris Federez   •   October 30, 2019

Passengers wait for the departure of their buses at a provincial bus terminal in Quezon City, Philippines, 29 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The management of the Araneta city bus station does not yet see a big sale of tickets today (October 29) on trips bound for the provinces.

Ticket sales at the bus terminal today (October 29) is still lean for trips bound for the provinces.

The management at the terminal said they see an active sale of tickets by Wednesday or Thursday wherein they expect an influx of passengers.  

Ticket sellers said their sale is comparatively low this year from last year.

” Mahaba na pila dapat, nagt-two lines na mga ganon. Wala walang pila ngayon. Malaki iyong binaba ngayon compared dati dapat malaki na iyong income naming,” they said.

[The line would have been long, and would be on two lines already. Now, there is no cueing yet. The sale dropped very low compared to before when we earned higher.]

Passengers may buy bus tickets on ordinary buses where sale is done over the counter or through the bus conductor.

Availability of online bookings on aircon buses that are stationed at the Araneta Center bus terminal, on the other hand, can already be seen on the website of the bus companies bound for the Southern Tagalog, Bicol, and Visayas regions.

 “So we’d expect by tomorrow or kaya sa 31 iyong dagsa ng mga pasahero especially sa non-aircon. Iyong aircon po natin maraming nakabili ng for advanced schedule kaya kalimitan mga chance iyong nandoon sa bus port, although nakapagbigay naman ng allocations iyong mga bus company at iyong extra trips nila dahil nabigyan naman sila ng mga special trips ng LTFRB,” said Ramon Lopez, the manager of the Araneta city bus station.

[So we expect the influx of passengers by tomorrow or on the 31, especially on non-aircon buses. For aircon buses, some online bookings are done in advanced that is why those coming early at the bus port are chance passengers. Although bus companies have allocated vehicles for extra trips as they were able to get special trips permits from the LTFRB.]

The terminal management also reminded the riding public that pointed and deadly weapons and flammable materials are strictly prohibited inside the transport hub. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

LRT2 resumes partial operation for Cubao-Recto route

Marje Pelayo   •   October 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority has announced the resumption of partial operations of its train service from Cubao to Recto and back starting Tuesday (October 8).

In a statement, LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya said they have completed the safety checks on the unaffected section of the train system.

“Thorough safety checks have been completed, and the signaling, telecommunications, power supply systems, tracks and the trains for these stations have been cleared and in normal condition. Hence, we are now ready to serve the riding public,” he said.

However, the LRTA has made adjustments to the train service schedule to give way to maintenance works.

Train operations will start late at 6:00AM from the previous 4:30AM and will close early at 8:30PM from the previous 10:30PM, according to the LRTA.

Specifically, Cubao station will be open from 6:00AM to 8:30PM while Recto Station will accept commuters from 6:00AM to 9:00PM only.

“We appeal to our passengers to allot an additional hour for their journeys since speed restrictions and a limited number of trains will be fielded to ensure passenger safety and the sufficiency of the power supply coming from the remaining rectifier substations,” Berroya stressed.

To serve the affected passengers, point-to-point buses (P2P) will be fielded at Masinag, Emerald and Santolan stations to and from Legarda starting Tuesday.

Likewise, 40 modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be stationed to ferry passengers taking Santolan-Legarda route.

Meanwhile, a bus service loop will also be available at Santolan, Katipunan, Anonas and Cubao.

These PUVs and buses will operate from 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM daily.

Fare rate will be P15 from Santolan to Cubao and P25 from Masinag to Legarda.

Meanwhile, free rides from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will be available daily from 7:00AM to 7:00PM from Santolan to Cubao and back.

As of press time, tracks that connect Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas stations remain closed as the power supply and signaling systems in the said three stations are still down.

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