(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and a couple of its line agencies on Thursday called on commuters to use public transportation, especially along the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), to avoid the increasing traffic along the major thoroughfare.

In a joint statement, the DOTr, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) said the travel time for the Edsa Busway -- from Monumento to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) -- remains generally unaffected at around 45 minutes to one hour from the previous three to four hours.

Gamitin ang Edsa Busway upang makatulong sa pagbabawas ng bilang ng mga sasakyan sa kalsada, at pagbigat ng daloy ng trapiko sa Edsa, lalo na tuwing rush hour (Make use of the Edsa Busway so you can help in reducing the number of vehicles on our roads, the increasing severity of vehicular traffic in Edsa, especially during rush hour),” the joint statement read.

Despite the suspension of the ‘Libreng Sakay’ program, it said the average ridership of the Edsa Busway has still reached over 100,000 passengers for the month of July.

Based on data from the LTFRB, it said over 300 passenger buses ply the Edsa Busway daily.

It added that the number of passenger buses is expected to go up to meet increasing passenger demand.

It said the Service Contracting Program is expected to resume under the regular budget of the government to give incentives to drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) and to help passengers through ‘Libreng Sakay.’

It also asked the public to make use of the MRT-3, noting that the train service has vastly improved through the “massive rehabilitation and maintenance program” performed by Japanese contractor Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Ang MRT-3 ay patuloy na nakakapagbibigay ngayon ng mas maganda, mas maayos, at mabilis na serbisyo sa ating mga commuter (The MRT-3 continues to provide better, more comfortable, and faster transportation to our commuters),” the joint statement read.

Reports said traffic congestion in Edsa worsened as more vehicles returned to the thoroughfare after San Miguel Corporation started charging toll fees at the Skyway Stage 3 on July 12. (PNA)