DOTC to launch airport buses at Naia
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) will get things rolling as it will soon launch airport buses to provide convenience to airport passengers and ease traffic at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
In a statement on Tuesday, the DOTC said it created the new bus program so that airport passengers would not have to rely solely on taxis anymore.
“For arriving airline passengers, the first trip is getting from the airport to their homes, hotels, and business centers. We are expanding their options to modern buses, so they will not have to rely on taxis alone,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in the statement.
“This is part of our bus reform program, which will improve passenger safety and convenience.”
Abaya said the DOTC would recognize the Bus Rapid Transit system as a new classification of public utility vehicles.
“We can boost mobility by promoting high-quality systems that efficiently transport large volumes of passengers,” he said.
“These new bus categories are cost-effective solutions that can cut down travel time, aid in decongesting clogged streets and enhance passenger experience through scheduled trips and orderly boarding and alighting procedures.”
Under the new category, Abaya said the airport buses would be required to comply with improved service levels, such as being equipped with on-board closed-circuit television cameras, global positioning system (GPS) devices, automated bus arrival electronic displays, cashless or automated fare collection systems and free Wi-Fi.
“These higher-capacity vehicles will benefit not only travelers and tourists but also airport employees and greeters,” he said.
The transportation official said airport buses would be required to follow scheduled trips and designated off-street stops for loading and unloading to avoid obstructing roads.
“We hope that with more efficient use of road space, this will help ease traffic congestion around airports as well,” Abaya said.
He also said booking bus tickets in advance would be required.
The statement also mentioned the technical features of the buses, such as “low floor height within a range of 0.28 to 0.38 meters, as well as appropriate luggage compartments,” saying these were required for passengers’ convenience.
“In line with environmental sustainability, airport buses should be compliant with Euro V emissions standards or better, or run on clean alternative fuels such as electric or hybrid vehicles.”
According to Abaya, the DOTC and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board have started increasing service level standards for existing public utility buses by phasing out buses older than 15 years and requiring the installation of GPS devices starting late 2015.
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