THE lack of modern and comfortable rides that offer a better experience for tourists has prompted the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) to operate tourist buses.
This new venture that aims to complement Citrasco’s other modes of transportation, like taxis, tourist vans, vans for hire, buses, and jeepneys, initially cost the cooperative some P16.5 million. This was spent on acquiring three units of 50-seater China-made Yutong premium buses, which they branded as Silverlines.
Citrasco’s Chairman and General Manager Ryan Benjamin Yu said they will not stop with three units. Within two years, they plan to add 20 more units, which would cost them at least P110 million in additional investments.
Silverlines’ entry into the tourism transport sphere is meant to upgrade the tourism experience of guests when they go visit Cebu’s tourism sites. It also aims to address the need for a modern and reliable transport service, in anticipation of the continued growth of arrivals to Cebu and nearby provinces, as reflected by the additional flights being mounted by domestic and international carriers.
“Cebu is a premier tourist destination and there’s really a shortage of buses,” said Yu. “Although we already have these tourist vans to transport tourists, these are not enough especially if there are big groups coming to Cebu,” he added.
Big groups from China and Korea are the top markets for transport services here. With the opening of more flights to Cebu, the transport cooperative expects the number of arrivals to continue growing.
Citrasco has applied for a regional franchise for Silverlines, which would allow them to go to any point in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental. Yu said permits are already being processed and they hope these will be released next week.
Citrasco acquired these buses from China-based Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co., Ltd., a large-scale modern manufacturing company with specialization in the research and development, manufacturing and sales of bus products. Yutong, according to Yu, is a top-tier bus brand.
“It is a premium bus. It has comfortable seats with foldable tables and is equipped with USB ports where passengers can charge their mobile devices,” said Yu.
The Citrasco official pledged to operate more tourist buses in the future. (KOC)