THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Tuesday the reduction of the number of bus units serving the Edsa Busway from 758 to 550 after the free rides service ended on New Year’s Day.

In a resolution, the LTFRB said the Edsa Busway Carousel will still operate 24/7 but on a fare box scheme using the approved fare matrix/guide until further notice from the board.

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It added that the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) is likewise suspended “until the necessary preparatory activities and sufficient public information campaign are undertaken.”

“A separate issuance on the use of AFCS in the Edsa Busway will be released,” the LTFRB said in its resolution.

Through the “fare box,” bus passengers will be billed the fare using the fare matrix approved by the LTFRB. Bus operators on the EDSA Busway must also obtain a “fare matrix” from the Technical Division of the LTFRB.

The LTFRB urged the public to visit its Facebook page for information about the fare matrix.

Apart from this, the LTFRB has put up “fare matrix” tarpaulins at all bus stations to guide passengers about the correct fare.

“Through the fare matrix, we can ensure that the bus fare charged is the only one approved by the LTFRB. But in the event that there are buses that charge too much, please report them to us immediately so that we can take action and impose appropriate punishment on whoever violates,” said LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz 3rd.

“Even though there is a fee for the buses that travel on the Edsa Busway, LTFRB personnel are still deployed to monitor the buses and the number of passengers,” LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano said.