Gov't agencies clarify terms of 'window hour' scheme for provincial buses

Araneta Center Bus Station

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) both clarified that the window hour scheme for provincial buses does not prohibit the aforementioned public transport to operate beyond the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the window hour for provincial buses?

    It is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Where can provincial buses terminate their trips beyond window hours?

    Their origin and destination must be at the following terminals: the North Luzon Express Terminal, or Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, and Araneta Center.
  • MMDA Chairman Atty. Romando Artes explained that provincial buses are still allowed to operate beyond the window hours, as long as they do not terminate the trips at their own terminals, and instead use the integrated terminals in accordance with the existing LTFRB policy.

    Artes said that based on the LTFRB’s existing policy, provincial buses shall terminate their routes at the North Luzon Express Terminal (NLET) in Bocaue, Bulacan or at Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City.

    Further, the MMDA chief stressed that the main role of the MMDA is to strictly implement the traffic rules and regulations, while policy with regards to provincial buses is under the jurisdiction of DOTr and LTFRB.

    Meanwhile, the LTFRB also issued a clarificatory statement yesterday, saying the traffic scheme does not connote that all provincial buses are only allowed to operate during night time.

    The Board said that explained by the MMDA during the meeting of officials from both agencies, the agreement was that the provincial bus operators may use their private terminals only from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

    MMDA PITX inspection

    Beyond the window hours, their origin and destination must be at the following ITX, where there are city buses that will ferry the passengers: 

    • PITX: Quezon, Region 4-A, MIMAROPA, and Bicol
    • PITX and Araneta Center Cubao: Region 4-A CALABARZON
    • NLET: Region 1, 2, and CAR
    • NLET and Araneta Center Cubao: Region 3
    • Santa Rosa Integrated Terminal: provincial buses from Visayas and Mindanao

    Moreover, the LTFRB, although clarifying that the “agency is not privy to the said agreement but was informed of this prior to the more than two-weeks dry run of the said scheme by the MMDA”, it “respects the policy” that agency is implementing.

    PITX inspection of MMDA

    The LTFRB noted that permits to operate were given to the provincial bus operators to transport passengers at any given time when there is passenger demand, and not only at night time as they have announced in several platforms.

    The LTFRB said that the situation in Pampanga yesterday (April 20) wherein — as reported by its Region 3 personnel — many passengers got stranded at Dau Terminal waiting for provincial buses to ferry them to their destinations in Metro Manila, was “very heart-rending and should not be tolerated.”

    Further, the LTFRB said that the provincial bus operators “should be responsible enough to abide by their agreement with the MMDA and its duties and responsibilities as a common carrier.”

    “For their non-compliance, which is a blatant violation of their special permits and certificate of public convenience or CPC to operate, the LTFRB will hold them accountable for this flagrant violation,” the agency added.

    Photos from Araneta Center, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

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