THE city rolled out on Tuesday its Libreng Sakay sa Kadayawan in a bid to improve connectivity in various areas where Kadayawan activities are being held.
While city officials clarified on Tuesday that the buses to be used for the Libreng Sakay sa Kadayawan will not be part of the planned High Priority Bus System (HPBS), the buses give Dabawenyos a glimpse of what it will be like once the city implements changes in its public transport system.
In terms of comfort, the airconditioned buses, which are sponsored by the Vallacar Transit Incorporated, are clearly way ahead of the public utility jeepneys (PUJs) we currently have on the streets.
These 61-seater buses are able to cater to at most 70 passengers as some could stand. This is nearly three to four times the capacity of the current PUJs, which seats 17 to around 20 passengers. Aside from its huge capacity, the buses are also equipped with a close circuit television (CCTV) and global positioning system (GPS).
Assistant City Administrator lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo said the buses that will be used for the HPBS will have some similarities in design but are more Persons with Disabilities (PWD)-friendly and have more advanced features like the electronic fare system. The city will be meeting with Department of Transportation to finalize the plans for the HPBS.
The future of public transport in Davao City. Imagine not worrying about getting sweaty on your way to work, having to squeeze with one another, or having to bend just to get in or get out of the vehicle. Our ride to work or to wherever we need to go will be more comfortable.
However, the city has to be careful on the implementation of the HPBS. We as commuters welcome these developments since it will be us who will benefit the most. On the other side of the fence, the PUJ drivers and operators will be the ones who will be most affected -- some will lose jobs.
As part of their discussions, the city is already trying to form a social package for those who will be affected. We just hope that these packages will truly help the PUJ drivers and operators.
While the future for the public transport of the city is bright, it will not be smooth road ahead.