THE opening of the Southwest Interim Transport Terminal (SITT) in Parañaque City was not smooth-sailing at all as it was marred by complaints from affected commuters.
Passengers’ main complaint was the inconvenience brought by the scheme, which they also described as “time-consuming.”
They particularly complained that they have to disembark at the integrated bus terminal and then transfer to another vehicle just to get to their respective destinations within Metro Manila.
Those who wish to take Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) will have to transfer to city buses outside the Coastal Mall, while those who are Manila-bound may take an AUV Express.
Apart from this, passengers were also confused on the route being taken by the buses as some of them are not yet familiar about it.
Some passengers also complained that there was no covered walkway yet from the terminal area for the provincial buses to the waiting area for the city buses.
The Southwest ITT, which is being managed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), serves as the hub for buses coming from Batangas and Cavite.
Bus operator, Nes Martinez said it was their drivers that are taking the brunt of the passenger’s ire when they were told that their buses will no longer go beyond the terminal.
Martinez is the operator of the Starliner transport with 35 units plying the Dasmarinas-Lawton.
But MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said that they are expecting such complaints and problems since it is the first day of the facility’s operations.
However, Tolentino expressed confidence that the agency would addressed such problems in the coming days.
He also appealed to passengers to make some minor sacrifices now saying that eventually they would see the benefits of the new transport facility.
Tolentino said they are coordinating closely with all stakeholders—the bus operators, local officials and other government agencies such as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to ensure that all these problems will be ironed out eventually.
He also said that the LTFRB is set to hear on August 23 the MMDA’s petition for a P2 fare reduction for bus passengers from Cavite and Batangas.
The 1.4-hectare facility meant to ease traffic congestion by banning Cavite and Batangas-bound buses from plying the metropolis’ roadways, particularly along EDSA.