Travel to and from Metro Manila via provincial buse will only be allowed during red eye hours starting Wednesday, operators said, sparking criticism from commuters.
Victory Liner, Inc., Five Star Co., and First North Luzon Transit Inc. informed passengers that their Metro Manila terminals would allow arrivals during 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. only. A new schedule will be implemented to ensure that travel fits within the window.
“Ito ay alinsunod sa patakaran ng mga awtoridad,” the advisories from the three bus companies in the EDSA Cubao area said.
Affected passengers are advised to contact customer service to reschedule their trips.
Earlier in March, provincial buses were allowed to ply EDSA from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for a two-week trial run as workers prepared to return to the office under eased restrictions after two years of lockdowns.
"Nais din naming bigyang-diin na ang pagsunod sa window scheme ng MMDA ay hindi nangangahulugan na ang mga provincial bus operations ay magsisimula lamang at magwawakas ang serbisyo ng pampublikong transportasyon mula 10 p.m. hanggang 5 a.m.," the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said.
The LTFRB said buses may use their private terminals from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., as explained by the MMDA during a meeting regarding the trial run. Any travel beyond the window must head straight to their respective Integrated Terminal Exchange or ITX to drop off passengers, the LTFRB said.
- PITX: Quezon, Region 4-A, MIMAROPA, and Bicol
- PITX and Araneta Center Cubao: Region 4-A CALABARZON
- NLET: Region 1, 2, and CAR
- NLET and Araneta Center Cubao: Region 3
- SRIT: provincial buses from Visayas and Mindanao
Operators were given the permit to operate so they can ferry passengers when needed, and not just within the window hours, the LTFRB added.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is yet to release an official statement regarding the window hours.