HPBS to cut down routes

THE CITY-PLANNED High Priority Bus System (HPBS) will cut down the number of commuters’ ride.

“In the current system, if you travel from Calinan to Buhangin, you have to ride three (public) vehicles,” said City Planning and Development Office chief Ivan Cortez.

In the proposed system, commuters could have just one bus ride from Calinan to Buhangin and vice versa.

“You will pay just one time for the entire length,” Cortez said.

The city currently has 125 jeepney routes. In HPBS, there will be just around 30, eliminating redundant routes.

With the proposed system, commuters may be dropped off at some stations but the trip will still be considered as one, depending on the ticket system.

Options for the ticket system include the traditional paper ticket and automated prepaid card similar to transport systems used in the National Capital Region such as the Metro Rail Transit and Light Rail Transit in Metro Manila.

Stakeholders are set to meet this month to finalize the draft of the proposed loan agreement.

The city is entering into a partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the transport modernization project that is targeted to reduce the number of public utility vehicles by 80 percent and increase the number of job in the sector by 40 percent.

Asked why the modernization program is being pushed, Cortez said the local government wanted to be step ahead of a proposed national program that would improve transportation programs.

“Is the present system working? We [local government] need to give solutions, and this is one solution that we are looking at,” Cortez said.

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