(Updated 9:06 a.m.) A bus company advised its passengers that starting April 20, their terminals in Metro Manila will be allowed to run within a window hour of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. only.
Victory Liner, a bus line that traverses through Luzon, issued this advisory on social media on Tuesday, April 19.
“IMPORTANT TRAVEL ADVISORY: Simula ika-20 ng Abril (Miyerkules), ang lahat ng departure at arrival sa Metro Manila Terminals namin ay mangyayari lamang sa loob ng 10PM-5AM na window hour. Ito ay alinsunod sa patakaran ng mga awtoridad,” the bus company said.
Victory Liner also said that it will release a new schedule for its passengers going to the provinces and to those arriving from outside Metro Manila.
“Abangan po ang ilalabas naming bagong trip schedules. Mag-iiba po ang oras ng departure mula sa probinsya para masigurong makakarating kayo sa Metro Manila sa loob lamang ng 10PM-5AM. Ang mga byahero naman po na pupunta ng probinsya ay pinapayuhan po na magtungo sa aming Metro Manila Terminals sa pagitan ng 10PM-5AM,” it said.
To ease their burden, patrons who have advanced booking and were affected by this change are asked to reach out to the bus line’s call center.
“Ang mga apektadong pasahero na may advance booking ay pinapayuhan namin na makipag-ugnayan sa aming Call Center para magpa-adjust ng kanilang booking. Salamat po sa inyong pag-unawa,” it said.
As of writing, the Facebook post garnered 3,900 reactions, 1,500 shares and 1,200 comments.
Of these reactions, 2,600 were likes; 1,000 were crying emojis, 104 were shock emojis and 88 angry emojis.
Negative reactions from commuters
This advisory was quickly met with complaints and criticisms from commuters.
They pointed out that the allotted window time is too short.
“Ano na naman yan (crying emoji). Buwis buhay na naman para makasakay. Juskolord,” one Facebook user said.
“Pahirap yan sa mga seniors na PWD (persons with disabilities), saka sa mga araw-araw na pumapasok sa Metro Manila galing Bulacan na Pampanga area,” another Facebook user said.
“Hirap sa mga my kasamang bata alanganing oras naman,” another user commented.
Others also questioned transport authorities for the reason behind this policy.
“Provincial buses lang ba gumagawa ng traffic sa mga kalsada. Saka may ibang way naman dinadaanan mga bus palabas ng MM, bakit may window hour pa. Pahirap naman tlaga oh,” one Facebook user said.
“Nagkaroon ba ito ng consultation sa common pasahero? Peligrosong mga oras na yan, anti-poor pa. Nasaan ang logic dito ng MMDA?” another Facebook user commented.
Robert Anthony Siy (@goodkidbikecity), transport official in Pasig City, pointed out that this situation is the reason why some people resort to purchasing private cars.
“This poor treatment of commuters is unacceptable and we should all call it unacceptable. Gulat ba kayo na andaming nangangarap bumili ng kotse pag ganito naman pagtrato nyo sa mananakay?” Siy said on Twitter.
Previous dry run in EDSA
Last March, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) conducted a two-week dry run of allowing provincial buses along EDSA within the same time frame from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
MMDA Chairman Romando Artes told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo that they chose this period for the dry run because of the low traffic volume observed around that time.
“Hindi naman siya nakaapekto sa daloy ng traffic dahil gabi naman. Ang traffic talaga, lalong-lalo, sa hapon ay between 5 to 8 p.m. Sa mga oras na ‘yan, may number coding scheme… Kaya minabuti natin na payagan ang mga buses after 10 o’clock ng gabi,” he was quoted in a report as saying.