LTFRB’s route rationalization

Students going back to their classes in schools located within Manila’s University Belt may welcome an announcement by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) that it would open about 100 new routes for buses, jeepneys, and UV Express vans within Metro Manila.

According to the LTFRB, some of the planned routes would pass along España Boulevard to serve students from such schools as the University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University; and also along Taft Avenue for those going to De La Salle, University of the Philippines-Manila and Adamson University, among others.

For that Taft Avenue route, it remains to be seen whether the buses that used to serve the southern Metro cities of Muntinlupa and Las Piñas would now be allowed to bypass the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and go straight to Manila.

How about the buses from the province of Cavite where many students and workers are residing? Would they be allowed to skip turning around upon reaching PITX?

Surely, those who invested millions of pesos in putting up such terminals PITX would raise a howl. However, which should weigh more, public or business interest?

If the buses from Muntinlupa and Cavite using Coastal Road can go straight to Roxas Boulevard, turn right to Vito Cruz and then turn left to Taft, they should be allowed to go as far as the Manila City Hall to serve those who are resuming face-to-face classes at Sta. Isabel College, Philippine Normal University, and the many schools inside the walled city of Intramuros.

That’s not asking for much because that’s the way it was before the buses were forced to stop at PITX purportedly to stop them from jamming Manila’s roads. Taft Avenue in the past two years had been jammed not by vehicles, but by the diggings in line with those sewer, water, and road projects that had been taking an eternity to finish.


True enough, as LTFRB chair Cheloy Garafil had said, there’s a need to rationalize public transport routes with the additional challenges imposed on us by the new normal with Covid-19 still very much a menacing threat to all of us.

We wish that the LTFRB would consult all parties and involve the Metro Manila Council and its implementing arm the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in undertaking this route rationalization so they’re all on the same page.


While at it, the government should spare commuters those multiple-ride trips that double their pain catching limited public transportation.

Vehicle volume reduction, an excuse used to keep buses and other public utility vehicles off Metro Manila streets, is just part of the solution, but it cannot be allowed to create more problems.

The number coding scheme now expanded to cover 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., for example, would only work if there are enough public transport options for commuters. In fact, if public transportation in the country can be made more efficient, many car owners, on their own, would forgo the hassle of driving and would just commute.

Wait, here’s my stop. Para, mama!

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