PHABS to last until March only unless still necessary

photo from LTFRB XI

The Peak Hours Augmentation Bus Service (PHABS) in Davao City will be implemented until end of March this year only.

City Assistant Administrator Tristan Dwight Domingo said on Thursday that the special permit issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will be up to the end of March which. The demand for additional public transport is expected to simmer down by that time which is also the end of the school season where commuters are usually heavy.

Domingo, nevertheless, said there is a possibility PHABS may be extended or re-implemented.

“In case the volume of stranded passengers will be the same, then we can always request for another special permit to the LTFRB,” Domingo said during the iSpeak media forum at the City Hall of Davao.

He said that that the city government through the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) will conduct an assessment within the early week of Marchin order to decide if an extension is necessary.

PHABS officially operated last February 20, wherein the City Government of Davao initiated the directive, to address the scarcity of public utility vehicles (PUVs) during peak hours in various locations in Davao City particularly in Toril and Catalunan Grande as identified by the CTTMO.

Bus service starts at 6:30 am and ends at 9:00 am for the morning phase and resumes at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm for the evening phase.

The Toril route will start from Toril turn right to Davao-Cotabato Road, via Ulas, via Bangkal, through McArthur Highway, through Quirino Avenue, turn right Quezon Boulevard turn left to MacArthur Highway, via Matina Crossing, via Bangkal, via Ulas, via Puan, then back to Toril.

CTTMO chief Dionisio Abude said that the first day of the PHABS was able to cater a total of 1,227 passengers, 673 from the Toril route, while 554 from the Catalunan Grande Route.

Abude said that jeepney drivers were slightly affected during the first day of the bus augmentation.

However, he said that the city government made sure that PUJs will not be adversely affected by implementing strict bus stops so that buses will not compete with PUJs for passengers.