DAVAO CITY—Bus companies are testing the waters anew of the 24-hour operation they had before the Covid-19 pandemic as this city also opened its main terminal here in Ecoland Subdivision to a full day and night operation.
Aisa Saumay Usop, general manager of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT), said all bus companies were fielding more bus trips and extending their operations way into the night and dawn after the DCOTT began its 24 hours of daily operation on November 15.
Among the bus companies were the Bachelor Express with more trips to its destinations in Ormoc, Leyte and Tacloban, Leyte via Butuan City and Surigao City in northeastern Mindanao. These destinations in Visayas have to take the barge from Lipata, Surigao City to Leyte.
The Rural Transit has fielded buses for its 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. trips to Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao via the central Mindanao province of Bukidnon.
The Mindanao Star trips to the cities of General Santos and Koronadal in South Cotabato would now begin at 3 a.m. from its 10 a.m. schedule during the pandemic. Its other route to Cotabato City would begin at 1 a.m.
Last week, only 27 new trips were activated mostly at one-hour interval due to the limited number of passengers.
A day later, the frequency had increased to 405 bus trips, Usop said. She said the DCOTT was seeing an average of between 700 and 800 bus trips a day before the pandemic.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 11 would also be launching later this month the Davao City-Marawi City route through Maramag town in Bukidnon going to the interior Wao town of Lanao del Sur. The route would take only about five hours, as compared to the much longer route through Bukidnon to Cagayan de Oro, then to Iligan City and finally to Marawi City. This current route takes 11 hours.
Usop said the launching trip would start from Marawi City.
Despite allowing more trips now, Usop said the LTFRB was still enforcing a capacity of only 50 percent for utility vans and buses.