The transportation woes of commuters from Toril and Catalunan Grande will likely be over before the month ends. The application for special permits for 20 units of public utility buses requested by the city government was approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board recently.
LTFRB chair Martin Delgra issued the order last Wednesday following a survey conducted by the Davao City Transportation and Traffic Management Office identifying Catalunan Grande and Toril routes as underserved. The Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Services (PHABS) would provide service to commuters during peak hours – from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
For a rapidly growing city like Davao, PUJs are no longer enough to cater to the needs of the passengers, especially those who are living in the suburbs where real estate developments are underway. The experience we had during Kadayawan last year, when buses where temporarily deployed to ferry revelers, was a successful yardstick that the city is ready for a bus system. This could be the initial step as the city prepares for the proposed High Priority Bus System, that will replace PUJs and address the traffic congestion in the city.
Commuters from Toril going to the downtown area 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, iit 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.
This will certainly end the suffering of commuters, especially students and employees, at least in Toril and Catalunan Grande even as we look forward to the implementation of the High Priority Bus System this year.
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