Transport hubs gird for holiday rush

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2022 10:15 PM

ABS-CBN News/file
Passengers line up to take their designated bus trip going to various cities in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange ( PITX ) in Parañaque City on April 11, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

Local transport hubs are readying themselves for the expected influx of passengers for the holiday season by tightening security and making sure facilities are in shape.

At the PITX in Parañaque City, passenger traffic remains light. But spokesperson Jason Salvador said thousands of people are expected to troop to the provinces for the holidays.

"Nag-aaverage kami ngayon ng 130,000 per day... so pag palapit na ang pasko inaasahan na 160,000 to 170,000 ang pasahero," Salvador said.

The PITX is also preparing for the 24 hour operation of the EDSA bus carousel.

Eased anti-COVID restrictions are also expected to encourage more people to travel.

Airports and seaports said they are prepared for the influx.

"This year and early next year iyung peak season baka ma-prolong kasi sa Chinese New Year would be by end of January. One of the measures is we have to balance the different terminals," MIAA Assistant Senior General Manager Bryan Co said.

The Philippine Ports Authority advised passengers to book their tickets online.

"Ang mga barko may sistema na sila na pwedeng bumili ng ticket online. Iwasan ang pagpila at magtake ng chance na bibili ng ticket. Baka sa pila maka-encounter sila ng mga scalper na nagbebenta ng mas mahal na ticket," said Atty. Jay Santiago, Philippine Ports Authority General Manager.

For its part, the MMDA is also readying measures to mitigate the expected heavy traffic brought on by the holiday rush.

These include policies that center on keeping streets open and vehicles moving along.

"Ang anticipatory measures ng MMDA ay kinausap ang mga mall operators para sa adjustment ng shopping hours. Patuloy ang clearing ng mabuhay lanes at pinahinto muna ang mga paghuhukay sa kalsada maliban sa priority projects ng DPWH," MMDA spokesperson Atty. Melissa Carunungan said.