After failing in the first round of selection, the management of Davao Metro Shuttle Corporation is eyeing to re-apply for a franchise to serve the Davao City’s interim bus project or the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) bus routes.
In the first round of selection on July 17, 2020, Metro Shuttle failed to comply with all the requirements. Metro Shuttle has applied for Catalunan Grande to downtown route.
“We failed because we don’t have ready units pa because of logistical issues caused by the pandemic,” said De Carlo Uy, president of Davao Metro Shuttle, in a text message.
Uy said they are keen on re-applying for the second round of selection. He said as of the moment, they are preparing the needed documents.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has opened another round of franchise application. The routes up for grabs are Toril to downtown and Catalunan Grande to downtown. Applicants have until 9 a.m. of August 20, 2020 to submit their documents for evaluation.
“We have every intent on joining and serving the route. We are planning on re-applying,” Uy said.
Considered one of the premier bus companies in Mindanao and the country, Metro Shuttle, has a fleet of about 300 buses and operates bus transport services in and outside Davao Region with its headquarters, main garage and offices in Davao City. Its main terminals are located in Davao City and Tagum City.
The bus company has also started serving an intracity route in Davao City as part of its expansion program which started in February this year deploying two units for the said program. The two new buses are part of the total franchise of 17 units originally owned by Annil Transport Services Inc., which Davao Metro Shuttle recently bought.
The franchise covers the Roxas-Bankerohan-Calinan route.
The bus firm, established in 1995 with its main office in Tagum City, has been operating inter-city, inter-province and inter-regional routes.
Apart from Metro Shuttle, another Mindanao-based bus company, Bachelor Express Inc., also failed its bid to service the Toril-downtown route under the interim bus service.
LTFRB has widened the scope by opening the application to all aspirants even to non-area based applicants.
Qualified existing area-based (within Region 11) operators in routes which will be covered by the Davao Interim Bus Service shall be given preference provided that they pass the legal, technical and financial capability qualification. If no area-based operator applies or not qualified to apply, other operators may apply.