CHRISNELYN Gail Haictin, who works in the security services industry, regularly travels from Barangay Communal to her workplace in Claveria. For her, waiting for a ride to go to work or home was not a problem for quite some time.

“Maka ingon jud ko na hayahay kaayo, makasakay gyud maskin peak hours (It was easy to get a ride even during peak hours),” Haictin said.

However, the rain in recent days has turned her daily commute into a stressful ordeal. On top of the rain, more people are returning to office work and some schools have resumed face-to-face classes.

“Kato gahapon (August 9) murag nasabay tanan; balik na ang face-to-face classes, peak hours pa gyud, ulan pajud, baha ug traffic gisabay (It all came together yesterday – face-to-face classes are back, it was the peak hours, it was raining, and there was heavy traffic),” Haictin said in an interview with SunStar Davao on August 10, 2022.

Photos uploaded by SunStar Davao on August 8 and 9 show a number of Dabawenyos waiting in Acacia to get a ride home after heavy rains. Similar sights can be seen in different parts of the city with people waiting to catch a jeep. Even taxis were hard to get.

“Puno na siya kadalasan pagmuagi ug gamay ra pud nagabyahe ing ani na ruta, especially pag gabii na (Most of the jeepneys were full and not many serve the route I usually get a ride on), mao mag double or triple ride ko para lang makauli (that’s why there are days I had to double- or triple-ride just to get home),” Haictin said.

Recently, Haictin said she has to wait for an hour on average just to get a ride home from work.

Meanwhile, Shiela Joy Libre, who is an assistant bookkeeper, waits for one to two hours to get a ride going to Cabantian.

“Gahapon (August 9, 2022), one hour and 20 minutes mi naghulat sa may UM bolton paabot og Cabantian na jeep. Wala man mi masakyan, nagbaktas nalang po kami pa Acacia (Yesterday, we waited for an hour and 20 minutes at UM Bolton hoping to catch a ride of a jeepney serving the Cabantian route; but, unfortunately we can’t get on any. So, ended up walking to Acacia), ” Libre said.

She also said during these times, some of the jeepney drivers might have already gone home. Unfortunately, it is also during these times when there is an influx of passengers.

“Maong makalisngag jud siya ug ilong pero akong attitude lang basta ing-ani kay, ‘basta Lord makauli ko ug safe, okay na ko (It can be very stressful but I always tell myself that ‘Lord just let me get home safe),’” Libre said.

For Beth Yugur, she had to walk from NCCC Victoria Plaza to Gaisano Mall just to get a ride home.

“9 [p.m.] out namo, tapos mga 11 to 12 nami makasakay (We got off from work at 9:00 p.m. but we were able to get a ride at 11 to 12 midnight),” Yagur said.

With getting a ride home or to work becoming difficult, commuters hope that the city government will improve public transportation in the city.

“Maayo unta naay bus nga i-provide padulong sa amo lugar sa Cabantian area kay luoy jud mga estudyante para makatipid sa pamasahe (I hope a bus will serve the Cabantian area because I feel bad for the students. This could help them save on fare too)” Shirley Ormillada Blaya, commuter, said.

For her part, Libre hopes more public utility jeeps will serve their area.

“Kulang gyud ang transportation [vehicles] po unta madungog ni na concern sa government na dagdagan ang mga transportation like jeep labaw na mga Buhangin or pa Cabantian na route po unta madungagan (The public transportation in our area is not enough. We hope the government will look into this concern and add more jeeps to serve the Buhangin and Cabantian route),” Libre said.

To improve the public transportation in Davao City, the city is in the process of completing the High Priority Bus System (HPBS).

During the oath-taking ceremony of Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, he said the city would prioritize the completion of the HPBS.

“The preparation of the High Priority Bus System is now in full swing and the city will double its efforts for the fast completion of this project, Dabawenyos are soon to enjoy a modern and efficient transport system that does not only provide comfort but also space economic growth,” Duterte said during in his message.

According to Department of Transportation's (DOTr) Pre-Bid Conference Presentation, the HPBS will have 29 routes totaling 672 kilometers are planned for the HPBS's route network. The routes will be served by a fleet of 1,000 buses that would include 300 electric 18-meter buses. KSD