In addition to the new MRT-3 Express Train scheme, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, in partnership with LTO and DOTC, is also testing out a new way ease up overcrowding during peak hours through Articulated Buses.
Manufactured by MAN, the articulated bus comprise of two sections which is linked together by pivoting joint. According to DOTC, the vehicle has a seating capacity of 100, but can easily accommodate up to 150 passengers in one go.
According to LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez the dry-run, which started today and will end on the May 20, will determine the viability of the articulated bus as a means to reduce the number of passengers riding the MRT on a daily basis while waiting for the upcoming trains.
During the first week of the pilot-testing period, the Articulated Bus will pick up southbound passengers at MRT North EDSA from 7am – 9am and will only have three stops (Buendia, Ayala and Taft Avenue station) to drop passengers off before ending its route near NAIA Terminal 2. On its second week, the vehicle will pick up northbound passengers from 5pm to 7pm.
In line with this trial run, Alberto “Bert” Lina the owner of Air21, has already expressed his intent to invest Php200 million to purchase up to ten articulated buses in the coming months if these test runs yield good results. The government will, of course, regulate the fare if these articulated buses goes operational, but Lina stated that the fare should at least be around Php20 to Php25 to make it viable.