It was a great day last Wednesday for commuters coming from Toril and Catalunan Grande when the first Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service transport finally started ferrying passengers to the city.
There were many passengers lining up early to be the first to avail of this modern means of transportation.
Although the system is still undergoing some testing, many are optimistic this will be the solution to the perennial problem of students and employees in getting to their destinations on time and with less stress. For most, it will be the end to cramped and uncomfortable sitting positions which is unimaginable especially when the commute is far.
The PHABS initially deployed seven buses: four Toril-bound units and three Catalunan Grande-bound units. The fare matrix has been announced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board since last week to inform commuters of the correct fare. It also required the buses to post a fare matrix that can be easily seen by commuters.
In a conference yesterday to assess the first day of the PHABS, CTTMO chief Dionisio Abude said the feedback was positive although there were a few glitches that need to be ironed out to improve its services. We have to remember though that the PHBS was launched to respond to the problem of commuters who cannot find transport or are stranded during peak hours.
The city has not yet rolled out the planned High Priority Bus System (HPBS) project which is expected to happen this year. The city still has to finalize the assistance packages for the PUJ sector, composed of about 8,000 drivers, operators and barkers at jeepney stops. With the PHBS experience we look forward to a smooth transition to the modern transport system we will all be enjoying. Not only will there be less vehicles on the road due to the diminishing PUJs, we also expect more private vehicle owners to use the modern buses instead to save them from the problem of parking. Certainly, less vehicles on the road will mean less traffic.