• Commuting to Work? Here's Your Guide to Metro Manila's New Point-to-Point Buses
    IMAGE telegraph.co.uk
  • Currently, the Philippines's mass transportation system is one big joke. Our MRT literally stops in its tracks, doors of the LRT fail to close, and thousands get killed in bus accidents every year. And, of course, there's traffic everywhere if you're in Metro Manila. Who can forget those rare moments...nah, frequent cases of traveling from Quezon City to Alabang for three hours or more especially when the forces of payday, Friday, rush hour, and flooding combine to form what we now call "carmageddon"?

    Finally, the Department of Transportation and Communications has come up with a solution. Finally. We can't emphasize it enough.

    The Premium Point-to-Point Bus Service was launched in an effort to convince people to leave their cars at home and somehow ease the traffic congestion happening every day along EDSA. The Point-to-Point (P2P) bus service is a new public utility vehicle sub-category that offers commuters another safe and reliable mode of transportation. It allows shorter travel time, as buses depart on a fixed schedule and travel directly from the terminal to the drop-off point.

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    It first started as a holiday project in partnership with Frohlich Tours under a special permit issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, but the original January 6 deadline was extended to January 31. It then expanded to more routes by April 25.

    Right now, there are four routes that cater to passengers to and from Trinoma in North EDSA; Robinson's Galleria and SM Megamall in Ortigas; Glorietta 5, Park Square, and Greenbelt in Makati; and Alabang Town Center. Additional routes are expected soon, and even the possibility of provincial service is being mulled over.

    Here's your complete guide to conquering the Metro through the P2P system. Just remember the schedule as these buses wait for no one!


    Greenbelt 1 (Makati) to Alabang Town Center (Alabang) and vice versa
    One-way Fare: P70 (Standard), P56 (Discounted*)
    Travel Time: 40 minutes
    Availability: Monday to Saturday

    The non-P2P commute involves... hailing a bus bound for Alabang/Pacita/San Pedro in front of Ayala EDSA. You can sit down, if you're lucky. Once in Alabang, ride a jeepney via Alabang-Zapote Road and get down at Alabang Town Center. This will take you about two hours depending on the traffic situation and will cost P40 to P50. A cab ride, on the other hand, will cost you P300 to P400. That's excluding toll fees.

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    Robinsons Galleria (Ortigas) to Park Square (Makati) and vice versa
    One-way Fare: P30 (Standard), P24 (Discounted)
    Travel Time: 20 minutes
    Availability: Monday to Friday (except holidays)

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    The non-P2P commute involves... crossing the (very long) footbridge from Robinsons Galleria to POEA, waiting for a bus bound for Ayala, and maintaining your balance while standing the entire bumpy ride.


    SM North (North EDSA) to SM Megamall (Ortigas) and vice versa
    One-way Fare: P40 (Standard), P30 (Discounted)
    Travel Time: 20 minutes
    Availability: Daily

    The non-P2P commute involves... crossing three segments of footbridges and praying to the heavens that you can actually hail a bus. This is, after all, North EDSA, and a lot of people are waiting to get on the same bus as you. The two points are not really that far, but expect the bus driver to stop at every corner possible to squeeze in more passengers.

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    Trinoma (North EDSA) to Glorietta 5 (Makati) and vice versa
    One-way Fare: P55 (Standard), P40 (Discounted)
    Travel Time: 40 minutes
    Availability: Daily

    The non-P2P commute involves...getting stuck in Cubao, Ortigas, and Shaw as you ply EDSA. You get the picture.

    *Discounts are usually available only for students, PWDs, and senior citizens. Schedule from the Official Gazette website; photos from the Facebook pages of P2P Premium Bus Service, Frohlich Tours, and RRCG P2P Bus.

     

    This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.

    * Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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