Long lines for free ride

Cause and effect. That’s what’s happening at the EDSA Busway.  

Many are criticizing the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its EDSA Busway for the long lines of passengers waiting for the free ride. 

Many are sharing pics on social media about the really long lines of people waiting to get a ride on the EDSA Busway.

There is a reason for the long lines, according to the DOTr. The ride is free for medical frontliners, and APORs or Authorized Persons Outside Residence.

That’s virtually every person going out to work on a daily basis.

The DOTr said that before it expanded its Free Ride for Health Workers to include APORs, the average ridership on the EDSA Busway was 60,000 passengers a day.

As of June 2021, or 6 weeks since launching the Free Ride Program, the EDSA Busway is averaging 145,000 to 150,000 passengers per day.

The highest recorded ridership was on June 14, when the Busway recorded 182,400, while on June 15, it was 172,000.

It is understable that with more people taking the Busway, the lines will get longer. It is understandable that in these hard Covid-19 times, people will try to stretch whatever budget they have by spending less on the commute, and take advantage of the free ride.

Rather than spend for a ride on the MRT-3, they take the EDSA Busway. Perhaps, the DOTr should have expected the consequence and have planned for that.

But stung by the criticism, the DOTr Road Sector and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will revisit the present free ride system, and see if it can be expanded to other platforms.

It added that it will push the EDSA Busway Consortium to deploy the maximum number of authorized bus units under their contract to serve more commuters availing of the free bus ride, especially during rush hours, and to add more units as necessary.

It said that more transport marshals will be deployed to properly manage passenger traffic at the various EDSA Carousel stations to ensure fast and orderly passenger bus boarding.

More “skip buses” will also be deployed to congested EDSA Bus Stops, while more mini bus loops will be established for faster turnaround of buses on congested routes.

In a press statement, the DOTr said: “We will remain relentless in our pursuit of implementing measures to address transport concerns in EDSA, and to provide more transport options such as the EDSA Carousel and an improved MRT-3 system. These will be game-changers in the continuing struggle to give every Filipino commuter a safe and convenient ride home, Friday rush hour or not.”

Track-ready bimmers

BMW is already known for rolling out cars that provide great performance. Still, it has rolled out variants that are virtually ready for driving competitively on the track.

And BMW Philippines is making such cars with the Competition label available locally.

These include the all-new BMW M3 Competition, the BMW M4 Competition Coupe, and the BMW M5 Competition.

Both the BMW M3 and BMW M4 Competition models are powered by the new 3.0-liter straight-six unit that comes with the latest version of M TwinPower Turbo technology.

These engine serves up peak torque of 650Nm and 510hp.

Even the exhaust system comes with tech that provides in BMW’s own words “an emotionally stirring endorsement of the engine’s high-revving character and linear power delivery, and establishes a clear line of communication from engine to driver.”

The engine is mated to an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic Specially developed for the all-new BMW M3 Competition Sedan and BMW M4 Competition Coupé.

Both also come with M Drive Professional system which was conceived specifically for track driving with new M Traction Control, M Drift Analyser, and M Laptimer.

A Setup button on the center console provides direct access to the settings options for the engine, chassis, steering and braking system, plus traction control.

The BMW M5 Competition is powered by an S63 V8 that generates 625hp and 750Nm of torque.

It comes with the MxDrive system with centralised intelligent control for the Active M Differential. This allows driver to set up the M5 Competition from variable all-wheel drive mode (4WD) with rear-biased baseline setup down varying degrees and biases to 2WD mode.

Finally, SMC Asia Car Distributors Corp., the official importer and distributor of BMW vehicles in the Philippines, provides buyers the opportunity to choose from various M parts and ex-factory price options to lend their M vehicle a personal touch.

“It’s all about making our finest cars even more special. Our customers value and deserve exclusivity and individuality; and that is exactly what our BMW M division caters to. The selection process allows for limitless combinations between exterior, interior, and performance features to make the overall experience of buying and owning a BMW M car genuinely exciting,”said Spencer Yu, president of SMC Asia.

Kombi comeback

Volkswagen Philippines is bringing back an icon of the 60s and 70s. Or at least the iconic model name—the VW Multivan Kombi.

VW has confirmed that it will bring in the Kombi, also known as the Microbus or Transporter, in the third quarter of this year. 

For those who grew up in the sixties and seventies, the Kombi name brings back memories of the iconic go anywhere, do anything van with its one-of-a-kind design, low flat floor and spacious interior.

The Kombi that VW is bringing to our shores will certainly not look like the hippie bus of old but the newer variants still continue the popularity. The Kombi, after all, has claims on being the world’s all-time best-selling multivan, topping the 13-million-unit sales mark as of May 2020.

Happy Motoring!!! 

For comments & inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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