Airport authorities will deploy at least 42 new buses in an aimed to improve transportation services available for passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The branded air-conditioned buses from Air21 Express were launched on Wednesday which is under the name UBE Express, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said.
Among those who inspected the bus units are Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, and Rudy Fulo, Air21 Express president.
The bus services that will operate 24-hour basis are project of the DOTC and its attached agency, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board,
According to Fulo, the buses will operate from NAIA terminals 1, 2, 3 and have two routes particularly going to Roxas Boulevard and Makati Central Business District. There will be also designated off-street passengers stop along the routes.
He added that passengers can board and descend only at the designated hotel and selected business center.
A single bus can accommodate 24 passengers and has large compartment for baggage. It is also equipped with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV), global positioning system (GPS) and an on board Wi-Fi facility.
The MIAA said the automated fare collection system will also be used to provide the option for advanced online booking.
Only professional trained drivers will man the buses and have transport attendants similar to airline attendant. Arrangements are now being made to complete its 42 fleets of premium buses, Fulo added.
Meanwhile, transport concessionaires at the NAIA welcomed the move of the DOTC to operate new transport buses that will compete with their business.
Romy Sayaman, spokesman of Airport Transportation Concessionaire Association Inc. (ATCHAI), said that the airport transport association “will not argue regarding the decision of the DOTC but we are only asking for fair treatment.”
“We with more than 2,000 drivers undergo several security seminars before we are allowed to operate at the airport. Those bus drivers should also follow airport rules,” Sayaman said.
He added that ATCHAI are paying millions of pesos annually for each vehicles registered to the MIAA, and the also paying for the parking fee.