For many of us denizens of this crazy (in ways both good and bad) metropolis, the Christmas season is something we look forward to each year. What we don’t look forward to though is the traffic, traffic whose intensity is a red as the color of the Christmas lights or Santa Claus’ outfit.
Sadly, it is a reality we have to live through at the moment, no thanks to the lack of the needed infrastructure needed to ease the traffic and the fact that the metropolis itself has been very, very congested for years now.
With the infrastructure still being built or waiting to be built at this time, at the moment the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has thought of some measures to help commuters survive the Christmas traffic hell, which we will be talking about today.
Partly because of the “reliability” of the mass transit Line 3, MMDA recently rolled out the “Holiday Non-Stop Bus” which traverses the EDSA route from SM City North EDSA, Trinoma, or SM Megamall to Park Square or Glorietta 5 in Ayala Center Makati and vice versa with no stopovers in between.
Bus operations begin as early as 6 AM on weekdays and 9 AM on weekend, with one bus departing from its station of origin every 30 minutes or so until 10 PM.
As for the buses, they are fairly new and airconditioned so comfort is a guarantee.
Originally, the fare for this bus is pegged at P50 (Megamall-Park Square) to P80. (North EDSA/Trinoma-Glorietta 5/Park Square) However, this was met with a “lukewarm” response as buses were almost empty. So the MMDA lowered the fares a bit to P40 and P64 respectively. Still, the fare is a bit high compared to the fares using mass transit and regular buses.
Nevertheless, it serves as a good alternative to get around EDSA this season in a more comfortable setting. If you can’t beat the traffic and all other options are out of the question, you can at least get some comfort riding one of these buses. You may not get to your destination faster, but at least you get relieved of some of the stress in discomfort, hopefully.
If you are a motorist, you have more luck than commuters as the MMDA opened a number of alternate routes called Mabuhay Lanes which aim to go to different parts of the metropolis while avoiding the normal chokepoint thoroughfares such as EDSA and major shopping areas like Greenhills and Divisoria.
You can check out this page at Gov.PH for all these routes you can take to escape the holiday traffic hell….assuming many other motorists do not have the same idea as yours.
Another thing of note is that many of the routes along the Mabuhay Lane are major thorougfares themselves so be mindful that you will still encounter traffic along the way, hopefully not as bad as EDSA.