The head of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) Sunday admitted that they were caught off guard on the high volume of passengers that hit the terminal on Saturday that caused the delay.
DCOTT manager Aisa Usop said they estimated 75,000 passengers last Saturday.
“We did not expect the number of passengers because in the previous elections, it was not like that. Aside from that, since last week, passengers started to arrive here so I did not really expect the numbers,” Usop said.
She said the influx of the passengers peaked Saturday night.
“We even recorded more passengers (on Saturday) than the Holy Week season,” Usop said.
Admitting the delay, she said some passengers waited for hours inside the terminal.
The bus trips reached 1,500, way higher than the normal 650 bus trips a day.
With this, Usop appealed to the public to avoid traveling during rush hour to avoid the high influx of passengers.
“We call to the passengers to avoid 11th hour travel because it will be they who will also suffer the rush and the very high influx of passengers during peak hours,” she said.
In time for the midterm elections today, commuters on way to their localities to cast votes have flocked the DCOTT since Friday.
To augment the number of buses available, Usop said they requested additional buses from the north-bound bus company, which is the lone bus company plying the said route.
“The most number of passengers is the north-bound. We requested for additional buses from their main office in Cagayan de Oro City,” Usop said.
To further ease the high influx of passengers, Usop said they did not follow their interval schedule.
“We no longer follow our interval of 15-20-30 minutes. Once a bus arrives, it gets full with passengers immediately so we send it off,” she said.
On Tuesday afternoon, passengers are expected to flock again in the terminal to go back to work and DCOTT, according to Usop gets ready for the scenario.
“We coordinated with the operation manager of every bus company and I already advised them to be ready for the upcoming days as we expect the passengers’ number to go up again,” she said.
On security concerns, Usop said they have implemented the measures well.
“We have Task Force Davao (TFD) commander Colonel Consolito Yecla personally monitoring and observing the terminal,” she said.