public transportation

LIST: Free transportation in Metro Manila
LIST: Free transportation in Metro Manila

Commuters queue at the EDSA-Roosevelt Bus Carousel after the Department of Transportation announced an extension of free rides on EDSA carousel buses, on July 2, 2022. Rappler

Here's a list of routes for those looking for ways to get around Metro Manila for free

MANILA, Philippines – Long lines, crowded buses, clogged roads – these are the everyday woes faced by the commuting public. 

Rising oil prices have limited the number of public utility vehicles on the road, leaving commuters stranded for hours on end. Worse, inflation continues to put pressure on the wallets of workers. It’s no wonder that free rides have become a welcome respite from the mental and financial drain of public transportation. 

In response to the situation, government agencies and local government units have been arranging free rides along various routes. 

For those looking for ways to get around Metro Manila for free, you can find stops and schedules here.

Department of Transportation

Despite the discontinuation of at least 135 jeepney routes under the third phase of the Service Contracting Program, the EDSA Carousel bus route still offers free rides. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has extended its Libreng Sakay program for the EDSA Carousel until the end of 2022.

Route: EDSA Carousel

Time: 4:00 am-11:00 pm

  • PITX
  • MOA
  • Taft Avenue
  • Buendia
  • Ayala Avenue
  • Guadalupe
  • Ortigas
  • Santolan
  • Quezon Avenue
  • North Avenue
  • SM North
  • Bagong Barrio
  • Monumento

Although the Libreng Sakay program for the MRT3 has been discontinued for the general public, the DOTr has expanded free train rides for students ahead of the first quarter of school year 2022-2023. Students may avail of free rides in MRT3, LRT2, and PNR from August 22, 2022 to November 4, 2022. The exact mechanics of the program have yet to be announced.

Route: MRT3

Time: 4:40 am-10:10 pm

  • North Avenue
  • Quezon Avenue
  • GMA-Kamuning
  • Araneta Center-Cubao
  • Santolan-Annapolis
  • Ortigas
  • Shaw Boulevard
  • Boni
  • Guadalupe
  • Buendia
  • Ayala
  • Magallanes
  • Taft Avenue

Route: LRT2

Time: 5:00 am-9:30 pm

  • Recto
  • Legarda
  • Pureza
  • V. Mapa
  • J. Ruiz
  • Gilmore
  • Betty Go-Belmonte
  • Araneta-Cubao
  • Anonas
  • Katipunan
  • Santolan
  • Marikina
  • Antipolo

Route: PNR

See the full Northbound and Southbound Time Table here.

  • Tutuban
  • Blumentritt
  • Laon-Laan
  • España
  • Sta. Mesa
  • Pandacan
  • Paco
  • San Andres
  • Vito Cruz
  • Dela Rosa
  • Pasay Road
  • EDSA
  • Nichols
  • FTI
  • Bicutan
  • Sucat
  • Alabang
  • Muntinlupa
  • San Pedro
  • Biñan
  • Sta. Rosa
  • Cabuyao
  • Mamatid
  • Calamba
  • Pansol
  • Masili
  • Los Baños
  • College
  • IRRI 
Ferry service

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also offers free rides through the Pasig River Ferry Service. Passengers are advised to present a valid identification card and keep their face mask on at all times. Children aged five and above may also ride the ferry as long as they are accompanied by a guardian.

Route: Downstream (Pinagbuhatan to Escolta)

Time: 7:00 am-5:20 pm 

  • Pinagbuhatan
  • Kalawaan
  • San Joaquin
  • Guadalupe
  • Hulo
  • Valenzuela
  • Lambingan
  • Sta. Ana
  • PUP
  • Quinta
  • Lawton
  • Escolta

Route: Upstream (Escolta to Kalawaan)

Time: 8:15 am-6:40 pm 

  • Escolta
  • Lawton
  • Quinta
  • PUP
  • Sta. Ana
  • Lambingan
  • Valenzuela
  • Hulo
  • Guadalupe
  • San Joaquin
  • Kalawaan

Besides its downstream and upstream routes, the ferry service also has free trips from Guadalupe, Makati, to Maybunga, Pasig, every two hours, from 8 am to 4 pm, and from vice versa every two hours from 7 am to 3 pm.

Quezon City government

The Quezon City Government has launched its Bus Augmentation Program to provide commuters with free rides along eight routes. Buses stop only at designated points along their route. Each route follows its own bus trip schedule, with more frequent intervals during morning and evening peak hours. The detailed schedule of the bus routes are available here.

Route 1: Quezon City Hall to Cubao

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 6:30 am-8:30 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall Gate 3 Kalayaan Avenue
  • Kalayaan Avenue corner Masigla Street
  • Kalayaan Avenue corner Kamias Rd. Interchange
  • Barangay Silangan Hall
  • 15th Avenue corner Aurora Boulevard
  • Cubao (Araneta City/Ali Mall)

Route 2: Quezon City Hall to Litex

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 6:30 am-8:30 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall NHA Interchange
  • Commonwealth Avenue (St. Peter Parish Church)
  • IBP Road Maclang General Hospital
  • IBP Road Quezon City University-Batasan Hills
  • IBP Road Litex

Route 3: Welcome Rotonda to Aurora Katipunan

Time: 6:40 am-7:00 pm (weekdays); 7:00 am-7:00 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Interchange (LRT 2 Katipunan Station)
  • Aurora Boulevard J.P. Rizal St.
  • Aurora Boulevard LRT 2 Anonas Station
  • Anonas Road Chico St.
  • Kamias Road corner Anonas
  • Kalayaan Avenue corner Kamias Interchange
  • Kamias Road Edsa
  • Kamuning Road EDSA
  • Kamuning Road K-E St.
  • Kamuning Road Delgado Hospital (Kamuning Market)
  • E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue cor. Gilmore Interchange
  • E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue St. Luke’s/National Children’s Hospital
  • E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue corner Araneta Ave. Quezon Institute (Q.I.)
  • E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue corner Welcome Rotonda

Route 4: Quezon City Hall to Gen. Luis

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 6:30 am-9:00 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall NHA Interchange
  • North Avenue Veterans Hospital/Vertis North
  • Mindanao Avenue corner Road 1
  • Mindanao Avenue (Tullahan Bridge)
  • Mindanao Avenue corner Congressional Avenue
  • Mindanao Avenue corner Tandang Sora Avenue
  • Mindanao Avenue corner D. Muñoz St.
  • Mindanao Avenue corner Old Sauyo Road
  • Mindanao Avenue corner Quirino Highway
  • Quezon City University Main Campus/Novaliches District Hospital
  • Quirino Highway/SM Novaliches
  • Quirino Highway cro. Forest Hills Drive
  • Gen. Luis-Nova Bayan
  • Gen. Luis corner Banahaw St.
  • Gen. Luis corner SB Road

Route 5: Quezon City Hall to Mindanao Ave. via Visayas Ave.

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 6:30 am-8:30 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall NHA Interchange
  • Visayas Avenue -Central Avenue
  • Visayas Avenue-Vargas St.
  • Congressional Avenue-Visayas Avenue
  • Congressional Avenue-Circle C
  • Mindanao Avenue-Congressional Avenue
  • Tandang Sora Avenue.
  • D. Muñoz St.
  • Old Sauyo Road Footbridge
  • Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway Interchange

Route 6: Quezon City Hall to Gilmore

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 7:00 am-7:00 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall NHA Interchange
  • Quezon Avenue (Philippine Children’s Medical Center)
  • Quezon Avenue EDSA (Ibabaw)
  • Quezon Avenue corner Examiner St.
  • Quezon Avenue. (Delta)
  • Scout Tobias St. corner Timog Avenue
  • Scout Tobias St. corner A. Roces Avenue
  • E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue corner Gilmore Interchange
  • Aurora Boulevard (LRT Gilmore Station / Robinsons Magnolia, Hemady St.)

Route 7: Quezon City Hall to Ortigas Avenue Extension

Time: 6:40 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 7:00 am-7:00 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall NHA Interchange
  • C.P. Garcia Avenue (Krus na Ligas)
  • Katipunan Avenue (Sta. Maria Della Strada Parish)
  • Katipunan Avenue (Ateneo de Manila Gate 3)
  • Aurora Boulevard corner Katipunan Avenue (Interchange)
  • Katipunan Avenue P. Tuazon Avenue (Quirino Memorial Medical Center)
  • Katipunan Avenue corner Boni Serrano Avenue
  • E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue / Eastwood City
  • E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue corner Green Meadows Avenue
  • E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue corner Ortigas Avenue (Fly-over)

Route 8: Quezon City Hall to Muñoz 

Time: 6:00 am-9:00 pm (weekdays); 7:00 am-8:00 pm (Saturday); 8:00 am-8:00 pm (Sunday)

  • Quezon City Hall Kalayaan Avenue
  • North Avenue Veterans Hospital/Vertis North
  • North Avenue Philippine Medical Association (MRT3/Trinoma Mall)
  • Congressional Avenue corner Abra St.

With the worsening transportation crisis, the DOTr continues to review the possibility of expanding its Libreng Sakay program. However, it acknowledges that with their current budget, only the existing free routes can be supported. – Lance Spencer Yu/

Lance Spencer Yu is a Rappler intern. He is taking BS Management of Financial Institutions from the De La Salle University.

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