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3:54 pm on 15 November 2022, Tuesday
By Raheema Velasco
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Tuesday that the 24/7 operations of “Libreng Sakay” in ESDA Busway would be effective from December 1 to 31, 2022.
This was two weeks earlier than their announcement that free bus rides would start on December 15.
According to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Secretary Jaime Bautista, the directive is based upon the expected number of passengers this coming holidays.
"Ang inisyatibong ito ng DOTr at LTFRB ay paraan upang siguruhin na may masasakyan ang lahat ng ating mga pasahero beyond the usual operating hours sa EDSA Busway,” Bautista said.
“Bukod sa hindi na nila kailangang isipin ang pamasahe, makasisiguro rin sila na mabilis ang kanilang magiging pagbyahe.”
(This initiative by the DOTr and LTFRB is a way to ensure that all our passengers will have a ride beyond the usual operating hours on the EDSA Busway. Aside from not having to think about the fare, they can also be sure that their journey will be fast.)
DOTr said they are coordinating with the InterAgency Council for Traffic to execute round-the-clock bus operations better.
“Malaking tulong ang 24/7 operations ng Libreng Sakay sa EDSA Busway sa mga nagtatrabaho sa mga BPO, call center, at mga empleyado ng mall na pinalawig din ang oras ng operasyon. Makakasiguro ang mga pasahero sa carousel na meron silang masasakyan nang libre 24/7," LTFRB officer-in-charge Riza Marie Paches said.
(The 24/7 operations of Libreng Sakay on EDSA Busway will significantly help those working in BPOs, call centers, and mall employees whose hours of operation have also been extended. Carousel passengers can be sure that they have something to ride for free 24/7.)
LTFRB is set to issue a Board Resolution to EDSA Busway operators to make the directive formal under the agency’s Service Contracting Program.
Last September 15, Vice President Sara Duterte proposed allocating P32.5 million to operate satellite offices and procure vehicles for her Libreng Sakay Project.
In August, DOTr asked for P12 billion in funds to continue their Service Contracting Program, where Libreng Sakay Program is under, yet it was not included in the proposed 2023 national budget.
Without funding for next year, Libreng Sakay is expected to run only until December 31, 2022.