Davao Bus Project to serve as model for urban transport projects

Davao Bus Project
Davao Bus Project ADB

THE Davao Public Transport Modernization Program (DPTMP), or Davao Bus Project, is expected to benefit Dabawenyo commuters with an efficient, comfortable, and convenient riding experience while at the same time serving as a model for similar urban transportation projects nationwide.

“Once completed, it will serve as a benchmark for other urban road projects that aim to radically transform public transport,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said during the signing of civil works contracts for the DPTMP in Davao City on February 7. 

The civil works will include five bus depots, three bus terminals, more than a thousand bus stops, a driving school, bus lanes, pedestrian lanes, and signages.

Bautista said the program will commence the transformation of Mindanao public transport, adding that the DPTMP, which has a budget of P73.4 billion and is funded by the Asian Development Bank, will run in parallel with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program implemented nationwide.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who witnessed the ceremonial signing, reiterated that the DPTMP is part of the administration’s high-speed and unyielding commitment to improve the country’s transportation system.

“We launch a project that will not only move hardworking people around with ease but transport their progressive city to a modern future with certainty. It should be rightly viewed as a major vehicle that will bring us to a better tomorrow,” the president said during his speech at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City.

The DOTr, led by Bautista signed the contracts for four civil works packages, and representatives from the Joint Venture of China Wu Yi Co. LTD, Fujian Construction Engineering Group Co. LTD, and Vicente T. Lao Construction for Contract Package No. 4. Also during the signing were representatives from China International Water and Electric Corporation for packages 1 to 3.

Joining Marcos in witnessing the ceremonial signing were Vice President Sara Duterte, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Special Assistant to the President Sec. Anton Lagdameo.

Aside from the civil works, the project will entail the procurement of 386 electric buses, 531 regular buses, and 188 mini-buses. The non-electric buses are compliant with Euro V standards for diesel buses.  

Changing Davao City’s public transport

Rowena Naranjos, member of the project management team for the Davao Bus Project, said the civil works projects will change the face of public transport in Davao.

Among the civil works projects is the construction of three bus terminals near Davao City’s three boundaries (Toril, Bunawan, and Calinan).

“The three terminals will be for the entry points, yung mga provincial buses doon lang sila sa mga (three) terminals,” Naranjos said.

The Bus Project will transfer the functions of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal in Ecoland into the three terminals, as provincial buses will no longer be allowed inside Davao City.

Instead of obsolete PUVs, Dabawenyos will be riding brand-new, comfortable buses that are air-conditioned and equipped with GPS and CCTV cameras. It also has a WiFi connection. The buses will use a sophisticated automated fare collection system.

For senior citizens and persons with disabilities, the buses have low floors for easy boarding and alighting. It also has designated seats for senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, and those passengers with children.

The bus units will run with an intelligent transportation system (ITS) for efficient operations.

The Davao Bus Project will have a core service lane connecting major commercial centers, nine feeder routes, eight routes to inner urban areas, and links between outer rural areas and terminals in Davao City and Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

According to Naranjos, the Davao Bus Project is expected to start operations by 2025 or 2026. PIA DAVAO

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