MANILA – Public transportation in Metro Manila continues its gradual reopening as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday announced the launch of the first six rationalized city bus routes in the region.

In a message to reporters, DOTr Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope Libiran said the return of public utility buses (PUBs) in the streets of Metro Manila will begin on Friday with three new bus routes — Route 1 or the Monumento–Balagtas, Bulacan route; Route 17 or the EDSA – Montalban, Rizal route; and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Loop.

This, she said, will be followed by three more bus routes on Monday — Route 3 or the Monumento–Valenzuela Gateway Complex (VGC); Route 11 or the Gilmore–Taytay route; and Route 21 or the Monumento–San Jose Del Monte route. 

TRANSIT MAP.  A map of the 31 rationalized bus routes in Metro Manila with the first three routes (encircled orange) that will be launched on Friday (June 5, 2020) and the next three bus routes on June 8, 2020 (blue). The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday (June 4, 2020) said the launch was part of the gradual resumption of public transportation in region. (Map courtesy of LTFRB

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), meanwhile, will meet with the concerned bus operators in the said routes to determine the number of PUBs that will be deployed.

“This is part of our gradual and calibrated approach in the resumption of public transport operations in Metro Manila,” Libiran said.

The six new routes are a part of the 31 rationalized routes that will run throughout the entire Metro Manila during the general community quarantine (GCQ) as detailed by the LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-019.

The 31 routes, which stretch from Angat (north) to Biñan, Laguna (south), and from the west in the province of Cavite to the province of Rizal (east), was the result of the rationalization of public transportation by the LTFRB that will replace previous public transportation routes, at least until the end of GCQ in Metro Manila. 

Earlier, the DOTr said the resumption of services of PUBs was slated to begin during Phase 2 of the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila on June 21, with mostly trains, taxis, transport network vehicle services, and other public transportation with cashless payments running at the moment.

By June 21, the DOTr said city buses will once again ply the streets of Metro Manila, with no decision yet on the resumption of services of provincial buses. (PNA