Makati gov't offers free shuttle services from QC
MANILA, Philippines – Following a system glitch and an accident in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 in recent days, the Makati city government began offering on Thursday, March 27, free shuttle rides from Quezon City to the Makati Stock Exchange Building in Ayala Avenue.
The shuttle service will be available in the mornings – from 6 am to 9 am – on weekdays.
On Thursday, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay deployed 2 buses and 4 coasters to the MRT North Avenue station to pick up passengers who are working in Makati.
There is no definite timeframe for the service. Makati information chief Joey Salgado said they will offer it "as long as needed."
"Based on result for this week, we will adjust operation hours and add vehicles," he told Rappler.
So far, the initial run showed "great promise," according to a media release of the city government. The first trip, which left at 6 am, took 28 minutes to reach Makati. The second trip, which left at 7:15 am, reached Ayala Avenue in an hour and 15 minutes.
According to the Makati local government, the city's population swells from half a million to over 4 million people during the workweek.
"Although they are not Makati residents, they are nonetheless Makati constituents because as employees they contribute to our economy," Binay said in the statement.
Many commuters from the northern side of Metro Manila rely heavily on the MRT 3 as a cheap way to reach Makati, one of the country's biggest commercial hubs.
But it hasn't been a great week for the MRT 3. On Monday, the line went on "provisional operations" for a few hours because of a communication glitch. The train line only operated from the North Avenue station in Quezon City to the Shaw Bouldvard station in Mandaluyong City.
Accidents and system glitches aside, the MRT 3 has been criticized heavily by commuters. Long lines and slow turnover of passengers have plagued the train system, which is serving over capacity. The MRT 3 is designed to carry 350,000 passengers daily but currently serves over 600,000 a day. – Rappler.com