People who have to make the daily commute between Fairview in Quezon City and Makati can now look forward to a quicker, more convenient, comfortable and pleasant ride.
Even persons with disability (PWD), including the wheel-chair bound, and the elderly will find the new transport service suitable to their needs.
Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), operator of the Robinsons Malls chain, in partnership with HM Transport, Inc., is launching on Aug. 30 the second phase of its P2P (point-to-point) bus service that will cater to people wanting to go from Fairview to Makati and vice versa. The P2P buses will be parked at the Robinsons Novaliches which is located along Quirino Highway.
For a P120 one-way fare, the P2P route will convey passengers straight to either destination – with no stops in-between – on air-conditioned buses equipped with CCTV, WIFI, GPS, LED television sets and reclining seats.
People who have trouble with regular commuter buses – like the PWD and the elderly- will also find it easier to get on and off because the P2P vehicles are specially outfitted with ramps which can be lowered to the level of the sidewalk. They can walk straight or wheel themselves in to the bus without climbing stairs.
Darwin Renolayan, operations manager for Robinsons Galleria, points out that commuters will have the added convenience of knowing exactly when they should be at the terminal as buses will leave as scheduled at intervals of 30 minutes.
There are significant travel time savings by riding the P2P buses. Passengers need not worry that they will lose time because of stops in between or by being made to wait until the vehicle is full. Since drivers are on regular salaries, the buses will leave on schedule regardless of how many passengers are on board.
Roseann Villegas, RLC director for public relations, shares the P2P service is part of the company’s goal to provide additional service to its customers and the communities that host its malls. The P2P service is currently located within Robinsons Novaliches Complex. The mall which serves as the gateway for the residents of neighboring communities of Fairview, Bayan Novaliches, Caloocan, Valenzuela and even Bulacan, houses a comprehensive public transport system which include the MMDA bus terminal and FX terminal as well as tricycles and jeepneys plying nearby barangays and subdivisions.
It is the same principle that guides the Lingkod Pinoy Centers, which makes various government agencies more accessible to people by locating satellite offices in Robinsons Malls.
Villegas advised they have scheduled the launch of the new P2P service end of the month in anticipation of the increased demand for faster, safer and more convenient transport as the Philippines’ Christmas season begins in September.
Renolayan says they chose the Fairview-Makati CBD route for the second P2P service because it has a very high number of commuters, according to traffic authorities. The first RLC-HM P2P service covers the Ortigas CBD –Makati CBD route, starting from Robinsons Land’s flagship mall, Robinsons Galleria, on EDSA.
Villegas says the service targets primarily families, call center agents, senior citizens and PWDs, professionals and white collar workers and students. Seniors, PWD and students get the 20 percent discount mandated by law and will have to pay only P96 each way.
Villegas shares that in offering the P2P service, they hope to contribute in easing traffic congestion within the metro. They also want to make commuting a happy experience, and mentioned that they may even organize a Happy Commuters Club.
Renolayan comments that because passengers know they will be brought straight to where they want to go, they can even sleep throughout the trip knowing they will not miss their stop. It will be stress-free even for car owners who will not have to put up with the hassle of navigating the always clogged EDSA.
Car owners who want to avail of the P2P service can park their vehicles at Robinsons Novaliches mall for free. By using the P2P, Villegas says car owners could halve their daily commuting expense. Instead of paying P180, the average parking rate for eight hours a day in Makati, and using P300 worth of fuel for the round-trip from Fairview, they will only be spending P240 for daily bus fare.
The Fairview-Makati CBD P2P service will leave at 5:30 a.m. every weekday – from Robinsons Novaliches (except on holidays-) and is estimated to arrive in Park Square, Makati an hour and a half to two hours later, depending on the traffic situation on EDSA. The first bus from Makati going to Fairview will leave at 7:30 a.m. It will be followed by a series of 29 trips with an hour interval between 8:00 am to 9:00 am and 11:30 am – 12: 30 pm and a 30- minute interval from 9:30 am -11:30 am and 12:30 pm – 11:00 pm.
P2P bus departing Robinsons Novaliches will leave every 30 minutes except for an hour interval from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. There will be a total of 30 trips with the final departure at 8:30 p.m.
At the moment, Renolayan says 10 buses that can carry 43 passengers each, excluding driver, will service the Fairview-Makati CBD route.
Space is reserved for one wheel-chair bound passenger beside the PWD access, located in the middle of the bus.
Although aisles are wide enough for commuters to stand, buses will only carry as many passengers as there are seats. Those with small children may opt to have their kids sit on their laps or pay for another seat.
Renolayan says that while the P2P bus is lower than regular public utility vehicles to make it accessible for PWD and the elderly, it is high enough to traverse a flooded EDSA.
The franchise for the RLC-HM joint venture allows the eventual expansion of the P2P fleet of buses to 52 for the two routes—Ortigas CBD –Makati CBD and Fairview-Makati CBD.