FIRST IN PH The P5.6-billion Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange, the country’s first landport, can accommodate 200,000 passengers.—MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
A month after the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX)—envisioned to be the first land port in the country—was inaugurated, its operations remain bogged down by reports of passenger inconvenience and lack of available transfer trips to ferry passengers to and from the terminal.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said they would review the operations of the terminal and remedy the problematic issues.
Recently, the southern-based bus terminal found itself hounded by allegations of inefficiency and corruption which former LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said stemmed from the lack of consultative hearings on how the terminal should operate.
The PITX is supposed to cater to provincial buses coming from outside the greater Metro Manila area to ensure that only city buses would ply along Edsa.
159 buses exempted
The LTFRB exempted only 159 out of nearly 1,000 bus units from using the PITX as per Department Order No. 25 and Memorandum Circular No. 22.
But only a handful actually followed the DO and MC, resulting in passengers getting stuck in the terminal especially during nighttime.
This is because passengers prefer to take buses that take them straight to Manila.
It’s easier and cheaper, they said, especially in the absence of a matrix that would take into consideration the additional transfer trips they have to take.
Drivers who continued to enter Baclaran and Lawton also said they were inconvenienced, among others, by the strict scheduling system which dictates when they were allowed to come in or out of the terminal.
But both the DOTr and LTFRB have stood by its decision to rationalize routes in the metropolis to ease traffic congestion and improve road safety.
Enough transfer trips
To make sure there were enough transfer trips available at the PITX, the DOTr and LTFRB have decided to approve 60 more buses that would take passengers from the terminal to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Bonifacio Global City, Ayala and Lawton.
It also gave provisional authority to nearly 600 UV Express vans and 1,000 jeepneys to ply the last stretch from PITX to the capital.
Both the DOTr and LTFRB also urged the public to engage them in a dialogue—which Lizada claimed they didn’t do in the first place—to further improve the terminal’s operations.
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