CEBU

Boarding pass scheme proposed for south bus depot

OPTION. Passengers currently buy their tickets at booths set up at Entrance 2 of the south bus terminal. The governor says bus liners can issue boarding passes “as the need arises.” (SunStar photo / Amper Campaña)

TO DECONGEST the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT), bus liners will now issue boarding passes to passengers while the issuance of tickets will be done right before they board the buses.

The move is in response to complaints of passengers, one of whom aired her frustration on Facebook.

A video shared to SunStar Cebu and Superbalita Cebu by netizen Liz Salientes showed the number of passengers that flocked to the terminal at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.

Salientes also wrote about her experience while waiting for her turn to get her bus ticket.

“Please Cebu governor, fix the system here in CSBT. Have mercy on passengers like me. Try visiting the terminal and see for yourself what the situation is really like,” Salientes wrote in Cebuano.

She also appealed to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to scrap the “No Ticket, No Entry” policy and allow passengers to wait for their rides inside the terminal lounge.

The ticketing policy was introduced by Garcia early October, but it was only implemented by the CSBT management on Oct. 29, or days before the observance of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days.

Garcia had wanted to reintroduce the policy, which was implemented during her earlier stint as governor, ahead of the holiday.

The governor had been adamant that the policy must be implemented to keep the terminal free of loitering bystanders and to ensure the safety of passengers.

Under the policy, ticketing agents of bus lines set up booths at Entrance 2 where they issue tickets to passengers.

At the Capitol, bus line operators proposed a boarding pass scheme to decongest the terminal, especially during peak season and weekends.

Bus line representatives, CSBT officer-in-charge Carmen Quijano and Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre met with the governor on Monday, Nov. 18, to discuss the matter.

“Over the weekend, we’ve receive quite a number of complaints due to the bulk of passengers. Since it was on a weekend, we expect passengers to flock to the terminal. I asked why weren’t you able to implement measures to hasten, to facilitate the issuance (of tickets),” Garcia said.

Among the factors identified was that ticketing agents had a difficult time catching up with those who were paying and buying tickets.

Garcia said Ceres Liner, operated by Vallacar Transit, Inc., proposed that during rush hour or during peak season and weekends, passengers are given boarding passes so they can proceed to the waiting area.

The issuance of tickets will be done at the lounge, right before passengers board the buses.

To ensure that all those with boarding passes are passengers, they will all be contained in the waiting lounge.

If a person is found inside the terminal without any intention to buy bus tickets, he/she will be escorted out immediately.

Garcia said she found Ceres Liner’s suggestion as a “very logical” way to address the problem.

She said that when she asked CSBT officials why the boarding pass scheme was not implemented over the weekend, they replied, “We were waiting for your approval.”

As the office in-charge of the terminal, Garcia said the management should have acted on their own initiative and discretion since the passengers’ convenience was paramount.

“How many weeks has it been since Nov. 1 and 2, and you know very well that people will flock to the terminal every now and then. But why isn’t the problem still not addressed? Did you not look for a solution? Then no wonder people are complaining. They have reason to if they still go through the same plight every weekend,” Garcia said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

She said the boarding pass scheme might work until a ticketing counter along the entrance corridor is constructed.

For now, the governor wants bus liners to issue boarding passes “as the need arises” to keep passengers from crowding the entry way. (RTF)


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