Commuters of Toril District and Catalunan Grande can soon say goodbye to long waiting hours and delay as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday, February 15, issued a Memorandum Circular No. 2019-009, opening applications for the grant of special permits for the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service (PHABS) in Davao City.
This memo allows low-entry or “city type” of buses to operate within the city during peak hours by issuance of special permits.
This directive was initiated by the City Government of Davao, addressing the scarcity of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) during peak hours in various locations in Davao City particularly in Toril and Catalunan Grande as identified by the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTO).
LTFRB 11 regional director lawyer Cattleya Acaylar, however, said only 10 units plying Toril and another 10 units serving Catalunan Grande routes may apply for special permits.
The government agency is already open for application.
“Once may nabigyan na kami ng permits, pwede na sila mag simula (operate),” Acaylar said, pertaining to operators who wished to apply for special permits.
The buses may start the trip at 6:30am and end at 9:00am, and may resume the operation at 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
The Toril route will start from Toril turn right to Davao-Cotabato Road, via Ulas, via Bangkal, through McArthur Highway, through Quirino Avenue, turn right Quezon Boulevard turn left to MacArthur Highway, via Matina Crossing, via Bangkal, via Ulas, via Puan, then back to Toril.
The route’s bus stops are located at Toril District Hall, Corner Iwha MacArthur Highway, Gulf View, Ulas Shell, University of Mindanao (UM) Matina overpass and Roxas Avenue upon going to the downtown while Roxas Avenue, Layby Cor. Rizal Quezon Boulevard, Sandawa Pias Cafe, Ulas Coke Warehouse, Corner Iwha MacArthur Highway and Toril are the stops for going back to Toril.
On the other hand, the route for Catalunan Grande starts from corner Elenita Heights Catalunan Grande, through Catalunan Grande Road, turn left to MacArthur Highway, turn right to Quimpo Boulevard, through Quezon Boulevard, turn left to Roxas Avenue, through MacArthur Highway, turn right to Petron Bangkal, through Catalunan Grande Road, then back to Santiago Villas, and at least one bus unit will traverse to Garcia Highway.
This route’s bus stops, meanwhile, are located at Elenita Heights, Santiago Villas, Sitio Awa, Catalunan Grande Barangay Hall, Phoenix Gas Station, Matina GSIS, SM Ecoland, Barangay Hall Almendras and Roxas when going to downtown.
Upon return to Catalunan Grande, the buses will stop at Roxas Avenue, Bankerohan, Malayan College, Petron Bangkal and San Isidro Labrador Church.
Further, the fare rate will be the regular rate for buses which pegged at P10 minimum distance of five kilometers and will add P2.20 for each kilometer.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved the request of the City Government of Davao to open the applications for special permits for 20 units of public utility buses that will service the underserved routes during peak hours in Davao City.
A four-page memorandum circular signed by LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra was released on Friday, following the survey conducted by the Davao City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) identifying Catalunan Grande and Toril routes as underserved.
The regular fare rate starts at P10 for the first five kilometers and additional P2.20 for every succeeding kilometer.
It said a letter dated February 13, 2019 was submitted by Assistant City Administrator Tristan Dwight P. Domingo recommending for the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Services (PHABS) to address the growing need for public utility buses from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to and from Catalunan Grande and Toril.
Retired Supt. Dionisio C. Abude, the CTTMO head, said in an interview that a meeting was held with local bus companies on the plan of the city to pursue PHABS, among them Mindanao Star, Bachelor Express, LCI Buses, and Davao Metro Shuttle, amid the increasing demand for public transport services during peak hours.
He said the Mindanao Star, which offered free bus rides to Dabawenyos during Kadayawan sa Dabaw celebration in August 2018, has already committed at least eight units of the “low floor, low entry, or city type” buses to provide augmentation services. The rest will be provided by other local bus firms, he said.
Based on the LTFRB’s memorandum, the travel from Toril going to Roxas Avenue will have six bus stops: Toril District Hall, Corner Iwha MacArthur Highway, Gulf View (Gas station), Shell Station-Ulas, University of Mindanao (Matina footbridge), and Roxas Avenue. From Roxas Avenue going back to Toril, bus stops are Roxas Avenue, Layby Cor. Rizal-Quezon Boulevard (Merco), Sandawa Pias Café, Coke Warehouse in Ulas, Corner Iwha MacArthur Highway, and Toril.
For Catalunan Grande to Roxas Avenue, it will have nine bus stops: Elenita Heights, Santiago Villas, Sitio Awa, Barangay Hall of Catalunan Grande, Phoenix Gas Station, GSIS in Matina, SM Ecoland, Barangay Hall-Almendras, and Roxas Avenue. The travel from Roxas Avenue back to Catalunan Grande will have another nine bus stops: from Roxas Avenue, Mercury Drug in Bankerohan, Malayan College, Bangkal near Petron/Collado, San Isidro Labarador Church, Barangay Hall in Catalunan Grande, Sitio Awa, Santiago Villas, and Elenita Heights.
The City Government of Davao is also pushing for High Priority Bus System, which would replace the jeepney units in the city, to address the need for mass transit system and traffic congestion in the city. (EDGE MIN)