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SMC eyes dedicated bus system on Skyway network

Despite the pandemic, San Miguel was able to complete Skyway 3 and soon a bus network will be implemented here, if plans proceed. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. plans to implement a dedicated bus system or Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on its Skyway toll road network from Susana Heights in Muntinlupa to Balintawak in Quezon City.

SMC president Ramon Ang said the BRT system will utilize the Skyway for buses that will function like trains—ferrying large numbers of passengers at a time and stopping only at designated stations at set intervals, like a high-capacity point to point bus system.

The project will be proposed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) once finalized, Ang said in statement on Monday.

The SMC president said plans for a BRT system on the Skyway, which includes the Skyway 3 project from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak, have been considered since 2017.

“As early as 2017, we had already been considering the bus rapid transit system on the Skyway as a means to further decongest traffic in Metro Manila and transform the commuting experience of many Filipinos. In fact, we already announced plans for this back then,” Ang said.

“Lessening the vehicles competing for road space is how elevated expressways ease traffic—as we have seen now on Edsa. This also means improving the daily commutes of Filipinos taking public transportation that use these roads,” Ang said.

“However, our need for efficient transport systems will always be there, so more solutions are required. The Skyway BRT system is one viable solution that is also highly scalable,” he added.

The BRT system will run on dedicated lanes and can be implemented in SMC’s other expressway projects.

“While we are looking to implement this on the Skyway system from Susana Heights to Balintawak, in the future, we can also implement this for our other new projects, in order to expand the area of coverage,” Ang said.

The SMC president added motorists may even choose the new public transport system over driving their own vehicles, which may also yield significant benefits even to the environment.

“Our expressways are really designed not just for motorists, but also to serve as a platform for efficient and sustainable mass transportation,” he added.

Apart from Skyway, SMC operates the South Luzon Expressway, NAIA Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road and the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway.

“We believe our elevated expressways are critical to solving Metro Manila congestion, which we can only expect to worsen in the coming years as our population and our economy grows,” said Ang.

Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer last April 26, 2021 4:39pm and written by Miguel R. Camus & Zacarian Sarao.