Passenger influx expected at bus terminals ahead of May 13 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2019   •   1179

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)

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.

COA: MRT-3 revenues, number of passengers in 2018 hit record low

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 16, 2019

The revenue operations including the passenger ridership and ticket sales of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) has declined in 2018, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

Based on the COA report, this is due to the low number of trains used.

“With only an average of 13 out of the 24 train sets plying on the rail tracks, thereby heightening the discomfort of the riding public,” according to the report.

From over 140 million passengers recorded in 2017, it went down to 104 million in 2018. This dropped the MRT-3’s revenue to P2.07 billion from P2.78 billion.

COA reiterated the need for the MRT-3 to fix the train system.

Meanwhile, the MRT-3 is currently conducting rehabilitation for their train system which is set to be completed in 2020.

The UNTV News and Rescue asked the management of the MRT-3 for comment and is still awaiting their response.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

QC gov’t rids Cubao area of dirt, stench

Maris Federez   •   August 12, 2019

The Quezon City Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management on Monday (August 12) conducted a clean-up drive on the sidewalks within Cubao area.

The group cleaned up not just the obvious obstructions on the streets but also the filth and foul smell in the area.

Barangay E. Rodriguez fire brigade sprayed water on the sidewalks along Aurora Blvd. up to EDSA.

“Sobra po kasing mabaho diyan, mapanghi. Yung mga dumadaan po, sila rin po ang umiihi diyan, [the stench of urine is too strong. The passersby are the ones urinating here],” a resident in the area said.

The team did not stop until the area is free of stench.

They also confiscated the merchandise of illegal vendors that cause inconvenience to pedestrians.

QC traffic czar Atty. Ariel Inton noted the disorderly parking spaces of establishments in the area that cause traffic congestion along Aurora Blvd.

“Sa isang pag-aaral namin, itong Aurora Boulevard, walang loading and unloading zone ng mga jeepney. Tapos ‘tong mga naka-park na sasakyan, imagine how many are those parked along Aurora na labas pasok; at bawat labas pasok sa kitid ng Aurora, eh babarahan mo ‘yan [As we noted, Aurora Blvd has no loading and unloading zones for jeepneys. And these vehicles parked here, imagine how many are those parked along Aurora. They cause congestion],” Inton said.

Because of this, the QC local government has vowed to strictly implement the laws pertaining to cleanliness and orderliness in the city.

Atty. Inton hopes that this will serve as a warning to the public to abide by the laws and help in maintaining the city clean. (with reports from Asher Cadapan) /mbmf

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