City Mayor Sara Duterte is optimistic that the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) project will start this year.
“I think we can start already, I am 50 percent positive with that,” Duterte said on Thursday.
“The HPBS is one of the biggest projects we are pushing,” Duterte said after attending a meeting on the project.
Lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, the assistant city administrator for operations, said they are targeting to have the project materialize in the middle of this year.
“By the middle of this year towards the end of this year and in the succeeding years, the city may implement fully the high priority bus system,” Domingo said.
With the realization of HPBS, the city government assures that affected public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers will not be left out.
The mayor, Domingo said, made it clear that jeepney operators and drivers should have compensation package.
With the deployment of 1,000 HPBS units, at least 7,200 PUV drivers will be affected.
Domingo said the government will fund some training that they can undertake.
In the implementation of HPBS, the city government is looking to hire about 10,000 personnel consisting not only drivers but also mechanics, bus maintenance and additional bus inspectors.
According to Domingo, underqualified drivers can enroll in bus driving to make them qualified as bus drivers or they will be trained as mechanics because “if we have new types of vehicles we also need to new types of mechanics.”
Meanwhile, three large depots or terminals are planned to be set up in Toril, Bunawan and in Calinan.
The city government is said to have allocated P30 to P45M for the initial phase of HPBS.
The city is currently implementing the Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service, said to be a prelude to the HPBS.
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