MANILA -- Point to point (P2P) buses are set to be deployed during rush hours along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) as an alternative mode of transportation to passengers of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

The P2P buses are expected to ferry passengers from North Avenue to Ayala Avenue within 30 minutes, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) supervising officer for operations Bong Nebrija said.

“We are offering the P2P buses as an alternative to commuters as the MRT is set to reduce its number of trains from 20 to 13,” Nebrija said in a television interview.

The MMDA official said the buses would be escorted by enforcers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine National Police - Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).

“Our objective is for the P2P buses to travel the same speed as the MRT,” Nebrija said.

Starting Friday, 20 buses will be deployed from North Avenue to Ayala Avenue with stopover at Ortigas during the morning rush hour from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Also, 20 buses from Taft Avenue to North Avenue and 10 from Ayala to North Avenue will be available to commuters during the afternoon rush hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“The buses will be charging rates the same as the MRT,” LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The second yellow lane along EDSA will be allocated to P2P buses while the first will be assigned to public utility buses. Private vehicles that will pass through the yellow lanes will be apprehended. A dry run is being conducted Thursday to test the P2P bus system.

The use of P2P buses as an alternative mode of transport comes as the government pursues efforts to improve the operations of the MRT-3 which has been experiencing breakdowns and glitches. (PNA)