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Commuters queue for EDSA Carousel despite end of free rides

by Joyce Remo

COMMUTERS experienced long queues for EDSA Carousel rides as Filipinos went back to Manila for the resumption of on-site work and classes on January 3, Tuesday.

John Mark Tumpang was one of the thousands of commuters who lined up for a ride on the EDSA Carousel on Tuesday.

Tumpang has been regularly taking this route, and he shared with republicasia the inconvenience he experienced while lining up to go home.

He fell in line a little past midnight, but only arrived at his destination hours later.

“Around 12:30 ako nakapila pero 3am na ako nakauwi ata,” he said. “Hirap lang yung transportation system talaga, tapos bibihira yung bus na dumadaan.”

A sea of commuters lining up to ride the EDSA Carousel at MRT Ortigas station. | Photo by John Mark Tumpang

A Twitter user also shared his dilemma after being stuck in long lines under a downpour. He said he hoped that the administration would provide more buses since the EDSA Carousel “Libreng Sakay” program of the government has been halted at the beginning of 2023.

The Libreng Sakay sa EDSA Bus Carousel, a program led by the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, was implemented to provide free transportation to Metro Manila commuters.

The EDSA Carousel line runs from Monumento, South Caloocan to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX). The program’s free transportation service ended on December 31, 2022. 

Since the program’s implementation in November 2020, it was able to provide free rides to 80,832,186 passengers, according to the LTFRB. It also said  87 operators and 751 Public Utility Buses participated in the program.

Meanwhile, commuters also flocked to the Manila Metro Rail Transit 3 today as the holidays ended. 

According to the MRT-3 data, a total of 78,591 passengers rode the train line during its peak hours from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. this morning. This is significantly higher than yesterday’s commuter population that reached 28,670 passengers during the same period.

Banner courtesy: Patrick Roque from Wikimedia Commons



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