Davao City to implement 24-hour bus system

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DAVAO CITY–The chief of City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) said Wednesday the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service (PHABS) system will soon operate around the clock pending approval from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

PHABS, which is currently being operated by a private bus company, started early this year to address the growing need for public utility transport for the city’s underserved routes, such as Catalunan Grande and Toril District.

The buses start to ply their assigned routes from 6:30 am to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., which have been identified as peak hours in the city.

Compared to public utility jeepneys that as for a minimum of PHP8 fare, PHABS buses charge PHP10 for the first five kilometers and an additional PHP2.20 for every succeeding kilometer.

“They are willing to extend the operation of the bus in the city because it is safe and comfortable,” Abude said, referring to the bus company that currently serves PHABS routes.

Abude said bus firm Mindanao Star is willing to add another 12 buses, which would suffice the need for the Catalunan Grande and Toril routes. Currently, the two routes are being served by seven buses.

Meanwhile, Abude said that part of the Davao Integrated Bus Service (DIBS), all buses running in the city will soon become a High Priority Bus System (HPBS), which aims to modernize the transportation system of the city and address traffic congestion.

“If HPBS will be implemented, we will put a gadget in it. This will be captured by our traffic signal and our stop signal will automatically turn into green as soon as it is detected. That’s also one feature which makes this bus a high priority one,” Abude explained.

He said four additional city-based routes will be opened once HPBS is fully implemented.

He said the city government and CTTMO are in a discussion about the financial assistance to be given to the affected operators and drivers in the planned routes.

“We also looked into their welfare, such as in Catalunan route where about 400 drivers and operators will directly be affected if this is fully implemented,” he pointed out, adding they’re looking at implementing HPBS in the last quarter of the year. -Che Palicte-PNA

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