The operator of the Metro Rail Transit, with the assistance of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office, began its trial run of the so-called MRT Express Train today.
The MRT Express Train is actually a MAN articulated bus assigned exclusively for southbound passengers and will traverse EDSA from the MRT North EDSA station in Quezon City to the MRT Taft station in Pasay City.
From the MRT North EDSA station, the vehicle will pass through the numerous underpasses and flyovers on the metro's main route before stopping at designated stations at Buendia, Ayala and Taft. The bus will then proceed to go around the SM Mall of Asia roundabout and end its run near NAIA Terminal 2.
From today until May 20, the articulated bus will run the southbound route from 7am to 9am, with a northbound run being added to the schedule from May 14 to 20, from 5pm to 7pm.
According to the LTFRB, the trial run will determine "if the articulated bus could be a safe and efficient alternative mode of transportation on EDSA." The articulated bus is MRT's response to its overcrowded trains, which have a total rated capacity of 350,000 passengers per day. However, an estimated 560,000 passengers supposedly ride the trains each day, hence the MRT's trial run of the articulated bus.
"With the articulated bus, we have a temporary solution to the overcrowding at MRT stations while we're waiting for the arrival of new trains," LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said in a statement.
Photos from the Department of Transportation and Communications' Twitter account