Bus operators cry foul over P2P

SIX of the 110 high quality point-to-point (P2P) buses have started plying its route between the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) and Lapu-Lapu City. The bus are all air-conditioned and will have its own toilet.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 acting director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said there are three P2P routes within Metro Cebu. There will also be a a route from CSBT to Danao City, which costs P310, and from CSBT to Carcar, which costs P300.

Montealto said they have already issued a “provisional authority” to the winning bidder Vallacar Transit, which also owns Ceres buses operating in the entire country.

Vallacar Transit will operate 20 high quality buses for Lapu-Lapu City, 45 units for Danao City, and 45 units for Carcar.

Montealto said they have identified the “drop off” and “pick up” points of these buses; one each in Talisay City, Minglanilla, City of Naga, San Fernando and Carcar City.

“I am sure this will not complete with the existing operating buses because of very high and impractical fares. A person will take it if he seeks comfort or is in a hurry because of emergency,” Montealto said.

He said a bus will only stay for about 10 minutes in every drop off or pick up points.

Under the P2P system, Vallacar will put up in every route 25 percent of the number of its promised buses three months after bidding, another 25 percent in another three months and 50 percent in another three months.

When sought to comment, the Cebu Province Operators Transport Cooperatives (CPOTC) hoped that LTFRB, an attached agency to Department of Transportation (DOTr), will promote the interest of the Cebuano operators rather than allow an influential transport magnate to operate here.

CPOTC President Julie Flores said LTFRB just bidded the 110 units of air-conditioned bus with toilets without even consulting local operators. He said this is tantamount to killing the local business slowly.

Flores, a vice mayor-elect of Barili, Cebu, said Vallacar Transit has the advantage in winning a bidding because local transport operators cannot match the company’s finances.

He challenged DOTr and LTFRB to be fair to the local operators who he say are really concerned with the Cebuanos. He said a Cebuano passenger who only has P30 to pay for a P50 fare is still welcome in their buses. But in a Ceres bus, a passenger is forced to disembark if he lacks even only P2.

Flores said it’s not enough to identify the drop-off and pick-up points but to also include signs on them so if the P2P buses, will violate the rules, the local operators can complain.

Flores also questioned why LTFRB raised the number to 110 units when originally, the experimental routes with “provisional authority” were only allowed a maximum of 15 units. (EOB)


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