Your Guide to the Provincial Buses + Routes Returning to Metro Manila
Twelve regional routes have been approved by the LTFRB.
(SPOT.ph) Provincial buses are officially set to return on Wednesday, September 30, around six months after they were barred from entering the capital region due to the quarantine.
A total of 12 modified routes have been given the green light—so long as they have travel point-to-point to and from their provincial terminals and their Metro Manila destinations: either the Araneta Center bus terminal in Quezon City and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange. This is in line with the restrictions set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the local government of the Central Luzon and CALABARZON regions.
The 12 routes set to start operating this week will be from Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Batangas:
- San Fernando, Pampanga - Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
- Batangas City, Batangas - Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX)
- Lemery, Batangas - PITX
- Lipa City, Batangas - PITX
- Nasugbu, Batangas - PITX
- Indang, Cavite - PITX
- Mendez, Cavite - PITX
- Tagaytay City, Cavite - PITX
- Ternate, Cavite - PITX
- Calamba City, Laguna - PITX
- Siniloan, Laguna - PITX
- Sta. Cruz, Laguna - PITX
Buses may operate without a special permit, as per the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's Memorandum Circular 2020-051. Instead, operators can download a QR code from the regulatory board's website, print it out, and display it inside their bus units. No fare hike has been approved, reiterated the regulatory body in an online statement.
As for those who need to travel, you will have to purchase bus tickets at least two days before your intended trip. Other necessary documents include a travel pass from the police in your departure terminal, a valid identification card, and written consent to undergo testing or quarantine should the local government of your destination require it.
The usual safety protocol will follow as well, so don't forget your face masks and shields! The one-meter physical distancing will also be enforced. Eating and talking will not be allowed either.
Main image by Jerome Ascano