More and more people are discovering that there is a more convenient, comfortable, cheaper and quicker way to commute between Ortigas Center or Fairview in Quezon City and the Makati commercial hub.
The P2P (point-to-point) bus service offered by Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), operator of the Robinsons Malls chain, to its patrons and the riding public in general appears to be becoming a reliable transport alternative judging by the growth in its clientele.
The 10-month-old Ortigas-Makati route has seen the average number of its daily patrons grow threefold since it was launched February 2016 while patrons of the Fairview-Makati service, launched only in August 2016, has already grown seven times.
While car owners may find taking the air-conditioned buses less stressful than navigating major thoroughfares in their automobiles, ordinary commuters, who are developing the habit of using the P2P service, see a better alternate to meet their travel needs compared to their other options.
Robinsons P2P Bus terminals are located within the mall’s compound making it accessible to commuters as opposed to having to climb a tiring flight of stairs just to board the train.
P2P buses, except for traffic lights, will only stop at designated terminals. This shortens travel time by at least 30 minutes each way.
All also only accept, as many passengers as there are seats ensuring that every rider will have a comfortable trip on an air-conditioned vehicle. Passengers do not have to worry about arriving in their destination with crumpled clothes and looking like they have been in a brawl.
For a fixed P100 one-way fare between Fairview and Makati and P30 between Ortigas and Makati, Robinsons P2P, a joint venture of RLC and HM Transport, Inc., is cheaper than getting a ride through one of the hailing applications, whose rates change drastically depending on the traffic situation.
Passengers can also rely that they can take the bus at a specific time at the designated terminal by checking the P2P dispatch schedule. This allows them to better manage their schedules.
Darwin S. Renolayan, regional operations manager for Robinsons Galleria, says commuters will have the convenience of knowing exactly when they should be at the terminal, as buses will leave as scheduled.
Although aisles are wide enough for commuters to stand, Renolayan says buses will only carry as many passengers as there are seats. People with small children may opt to have their kids sit on their laps or pay for another seat.
P2P buses are equipped with CCTV & GPS for the passengers’ security, LED TV & WIFI for entertainment, and reclining seats for added comfort.
RLC is among the first to provide the P2P service. Roseann Villegas, RLC director for public relations, says the service is part of the company’s goal to provide additional service to its clients and the communities that host its malls. It is the same principle that guides the Lingkod Pinoy Centers, which make various government agencies more accessible to people by locating satellite offices in Robinsons Malls, she says.
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 P80 one way.
Villegas says, in offering the P2P service, they hope to contribute in easing traffic congestion in Metro Manila. They also want to make commuting a happy experience, she says.
Renolayan says, because passengers know they will be brought to where they want to go, they can sleep throughout the trip knowing they will not miss their stop. The trip 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 the P2P Robinsons mall terminal for free.
Renolayan says the franchise for the RLC-HM joint venture allows the expansion of the P2P fleet of buses to 52 for the two routes—Ortigas-Makati and Fairview-Makati–if the demand increases.
To further strengthen Robinsons Malls’ commitment to provide convenient and comfortable means of commuting, Robinsons Land Corporation recently entered into a new partnership with UBE Express, Inc., a premium shuttle service which brings passengers from NAIA Terminals 1,2, and 3 to the hotels and malls within Makati and Manila, designating Robinsons Place Manila mall as one of its stops. Like Robinsons Malls P2P buses, it also features low floor entry, comfortable reclining chairs with provision for PWD, and equipped with onboard WiFi facility, GPS, and CCTV. It also has adequate luggage racks or compartments for travellers’ use. The fare is Php300 per passenger. The point-to-point bus service operates daily from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM, with a 30-minute headway.