By Emmie Abadilla
President Duterte on Monday inaugurated the country’s first land port – the P2.5-billion Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) that can accommodate 1,000 buses and 200,000 passengers daily.
The PITX is a flagship project under the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in partnership with MWM Terminals, Inc., a subsidiary of engineering and infrastructure conglomerate Megawide. It was awarded in 2015.
Located in Parañaque City, the intermodal transport hub will provide passengers access to multiple modes of transportation like buses, jeepneys, taxis, and UV shuttles plus a future connection to LRT Line 1.
“During our studies, passengers identified difficult transfers as the most pressing problem,” noted Louie Ferrer, MWM Terminals President.
“There are no guarantees as to arrival or departure times, nor there is no one facility where they can find all the transport options they need. PITX aims to address this problem by providing passengers with multiple modes of transport in one easy to navigate facility.”
The PITX was meant to lessen the traffic congestion in Metro Manila and lessen the number of vehicles in the inner cities by acting as a transit point between provincial and in-city modes of transport.
“In progressive cities, transfers between provincial and city transport are organized in one location. They have experienced traffic problems similar to what we are facing now, and we can learn from the solutions they are implementing,” Ferrer elaborated.
World class hub
Once operational, the PITX is expected to reduce the number of provincial buses plying Metro Manila, specifically along Taft Avenue-Pasay, EDSA.
The PITX features a design at par with world-class standards, passenger-friendly systems, multi-modal connections and a wide range of commercial services.
The terminal building has three levels: departure bay for buses, jeepneys, and taxis on the ground floor; arrival bays for buses on the second floor; while private vehicle facilities such as parking spaces, AUV bays, and a connection to the proposed LRT-1 extension project is on the third floor.
Five floors of premiere office spaces will be available for lease.
Trips per day are approximately 1,060 arrivals and 949 departures. PITX will also house 59 bays for provincial and city buses, 49 bays for UV express and jeepneys, and 852 car parking slots.
For driver convenience, park-ride facilities and maintenance areas for minor repairs of vehicles are readily available.
Bus reservations will now be hassle free as the terminal features a state-of-the-art bus reservation and online booking with seat selection options, and an advance ticketing system with centralized ticketing counters and 50 automated ticketing kiosks.
The PITX also houses modern concourse facilities. It has comfortable seating spaces at waiting areas, free Wi-Fi access, drinking water stations, traveler’s work station areas, charging points, locker facilities, and telephone booths.
There is also a centralized shopping center and a supermarket inside the terminal.
Health and wellness amenities are also available such as baby care rooms, breastfeeding stations, clinic, prayer room, pay-in lounge, and clean restrooms.
Trolleys and wheelchairs are available for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
All operations and activities are monitored through PITX’s 24-hour CCTV.
“We consider the PITX as one of the most important projects to be launched by the Philippine Government,” says Edgar Saavedra, Chairman and CEO of Megawide.
“For so long, Metro Manila commuters have had to endure the unfriendly conditions of their daily commute on top of the long hours in heavy traffic. Now, we are finally providing a solution to these long-standing problems,” he added.