To help ease the impact of the fare hikes on Metro Rail Transit commuters who work in Makati, Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay has added two brand new buses to ferry train riders at no cost..
“We regard non-residents who work in Makati as our constituents who deserve privileges such as this costless, hassle-free way of getting to their workplace on time every day. After all, they contribute much to our economy,” he said.
On March 27, 2014, Binay ordered the deployment of two aircon buses and four coasters to provide free shuttle services to commuters bound for Ayala Avenue amid frequent disruptions in MRT operations and simultaneous road works.
On weekdays from Monday to Friday, except on holidays, the city-owned vehicles pick up passengers in front of TriNoma shopping mall at the North Avenue Triangle in Quezon City at around 6 a.m.
Once all seats are filled, they immediately proceed to the destination, Binay said.
After dropping off the first batch in front of the PSE Tower in Ayala, the vehicles return to TriNoma right away to pick up the second batch of passengers.
Based on travel logs kept by the city motor pool, the first trip usually takes less than 30 minutes to reach the drop-off point in Ayala Avenue.
On the second trip, however, it would take almost an hour because of heavier traffic volume during rush hour.
Every vehicle is escorted by deputized personnel of the city Public Safety Department.
As of December 2014, the free shuttle has run for 183 weekdays or 366 trips, which would translate to around 87,840 passengers conveyed to Makati.
During regular workdays, Makati’s population of over 500,000 residents swells during daytime to over four million to include workers in the city’s offices and establishments coming from other localities in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces, including Rizal, Bulacan and Cavite.