Resumption of 24-hr bus operations in Davao City pushed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Nov) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Davao is planning to resume the 24-hour bus operations at the Davao City Overland Transportation Terminal (DCOTT).

The crowded Davao City Overland Transport Terminal in Ecoland, before the COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews photo by ERIC S.B. LIBRE

DCOTT manager Aisa Usop told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Tuesday that this plan came after some bus operators requested for a 24-hour operation of buses to and from this city.

This after the local government lifted the 9 p.m.-to-4 a.m. curfew and 24/7 liquor ban effective October 26 until January 15, 2022 as the cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are going down. The 24/7 liquor ban and curfew have been enforced since November 2 and November 20, 2020, respectively.

She said the LTFRB-Davao has yet to discuss this plan with other local government units, considering the travel restrictions imposed in other parts of Mindanao.

“The LTFRB director has yet to coordinate with other municipalities, provinces, and cities where buses will be passing through because the implementation of the guidelines and protocols varies,” Usop added.

She said that the DCOTT has been seeing fewer passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the previous years.

Usop said bus trips to and from Davao City average 300 trips daily, even days before All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days. Before the pandemic, she said daily bus trips during this season usually peaked 1,500.

She said buses are required to continue to follow the requirement of 50% seating capacity and installation of barriers to enforce physical distancing among passengers.

The major bus companies operating in the terminal are the Bachelor Express, Yellow Bus Line, LCI Bus Line, ACF Bus Lines, Holy Infant Tours, Mindanao Star and the Davao Metro Shuttle. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)