Bus operators ready to field more buses during peak hours in Davao — official

Passengers line up to ride one of the buses in the early rollout of Davao City’s interim High Priority Bus System along Roxas Street in this photo taken in December 2021. MindaNews photo by YAS D. OCAMPO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 September) – Bus operators in Davao City are ready to deploy additional units under the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service (PHABS) in case complaints over commuters having to stand due to lack of public utility jeepneys persist.

Retired Col. Dionisio Abude, head of the City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), told Davao City Disaster Radio on Friday that operators were given special permits under PHABS to deploy more buses if the need arises.

He said an inspection and monitoring team has been assigned to places where passengers normally converge to wait for jeepneys to determine the need for additional buses.

He said special permits were issued to allow bus companies to service the routes going to and from the central business district, noting the high volume of commuters.

These are Golden Valley Bus Line servicing the Lasang-Tionko Route; Land Car Incorporated for Toril-Roxas; and Davao Metro Shuttle for Calinan-Roxas and Catalunan Grande-Roxas.

The Dumper Partylist also deployed buses under its “Libreng Sakay for Students” servicing Toril-Roxas, Calinan-Roxas and Panacan Roxas.

The CTTMO said a total of 21 bus units have been deployed to address growing complaints from passengers over the insufficiency of public utility jeepneys during peak hours from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays.

Abude said the PHABS, implemented in 2019, has been re-operationalized last month as the local government sees more passengers getting stranded during peak hours.

“If there are still passengers who get stranded around 7 or 8 o’clock, the bus operators will deploy because that’s our agreement,” he said.

He claimed that based on their monitoring, no stranding of passengers has been reported since the deployment of buses was made under PHABS. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)