Ceres Bus Liner deploys free Wi-Fi

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Thursday, October 11, 2012


THE tough competition in the bus market industry has led Ceres Bus Liner to deploy free Wi-Fi services in its air-conditioned bus units to provide the riding public an improved “bus-riding experience.”

“If we can’t compete with the price (because it’s regulated), we can compete with the service to sustain the patronage of the riding public,” said Ceres Bus Liner branch manager Anselmo Ambos Jr.

He said they realized that Wi-Fi services are already a requirement for many customers.

“This is one way of returning the favor to the public while at the same time setting ourselves different from other bus companies,” Ambos said.

Deployment

The Ceres Bus Liner initially deployed Wi-Fi services with speeds of up to 3.5 mbps to 41 of 85 of its air-conditioned bus units travelling to southern Cebu and 12 of 20 air-conditioned bus units travelling to northern Cebu.

Ceres Bus Liner has 253 buses.

“The goal is to have all air-conditioned bus units Wi-Fi ready by the end of the year,” said Ambos. He said they are also considering the possibility of setting-up Wi-Fi services in non-aircon buses.

Ceres has placed stickers on buses with Wi-Fi connections. Ambos said there would be no additional charges or increases in bus fares for the new feature.

Cebu was one of the priority cities for Wi-Fi deployment, along with Batangas, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro City and Davao because of its growing market.

The Ceres Bus Liner is operated by Vallacar Transit Inc., which is managed by the Bacolod- based Yanson Group of Bus Companies, the same company that manages Rural Transit of Mindanao and Bachelor Express Inc. for Mindanao and Ceres Tours in Luzon.

The company has over 2,000 bus units operating nationwide.

Ambos identified the country’s robust tourism industry as the main driver of growth for the company. He said the establishment of the Philippine Nautical Highway that links major islands through roll-on-roll-off vessels has facilitated a seamless
transport system for passenger traffic.

Expansion

In fact, Ambos said, the company is also eyeing opportunities to expand operations in other areas like Bohol, where tourism traffic surges during peak seasons. Ceres can carry 17,000 passengers a day and the figure soars, especially on long weekends.

On top of addressing needs for public transportation, Ceres Bus Liner also offers chartered services for local government unit’s programs and field trips like Suroy-Suroy Sugbo.

Ceres also offers chartered services for educational tours.

Chartered services comprise five to 10 percent of Ceres’ total bus operation.

Last year, the company bought fuel efficient bus units to cope with the volatility of fuel prices as well as address the growing demand in public transportation.

Ceres’ buses are 80 percent assembled in the country in Yanson’s 20-hectare assembly plant in Bacolod.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 12, 2012.

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