By Alexandria San Juan
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) bared that around seven million passengers had already been served at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) at least eight months since the landport started its operations.
During the Build Build Build Media Tour in PITX on Friday, DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark De Leon, Megawide Head of Corporate Affairs Jason Torres and PITX General Manager Mariano Arroyo Jr. presented the “significant improvement” at the terminal since it was opened to the public last year.
Apart from the huge number of passengers served by PITX from November 2018 to June 2019, the number of trips in provincial and city buses also rise from 64 to 462 and 715 to 738, respectively.
In the data gathered by the DOTr, numbers of traditional and modernized jeepneys also increased from 172 to 347 and from 111 to 205, as well as UV Express units, which doubled from 25 in November 2018 to 56 in June 2019.
With this, service routes in the terminal also expanded and will soon serve routes in North Luzon.
The DOTr said that a new point-to-point bus service route of PITX to Baguio will be launched on Monday while long-haul routes to Visayas and Mindanao will also be rolled out this year.
“We will bring long-haul buses going to Visayas, Bicol, [and] Mindanao here in PITX. In fact, almost 30 bus operators have already signified their intent to transfer to PITX because they are spending millions of pesos to operate their terminals along EDSA. These operators realized na kapag lumipat sila sa PITX hindi na nila po-problemahin yung operations ng kanilang terminal,” De Leon explained.
Meanwhile, Megawide’s Torres said that aside from the improvements in facilities and routes at the terminal, a PITX mobile application will also be launched soon where passengers can book and reserved their seats, as well as track the trips of vehicles through real-time monitoring.
PITX, dubbed as the country’s first landport, houses departure, arrival, and bay areas for different public utility vehicles, and features various amenities including comfortable waiting areas, drinking water stations, public Wi-Fi access, charging stations, as well as restaurants, food stalls and shopping stores, among others.
It has a daily capacity of 100,000 passengers but can accommodate up to 200,000.
“Ang gusto namin sa PITX is to be more than just a transport hub. We want PITX to be maximized for the people,” Torres said.
He added that satellite government offices will also be stationed inside PITX soon.
Meanwhile, De Leon admitted that the start of operations in PITX was not easy since there is a need to change the culture of the road and to discipline passengers, drivers and operators to make the trip more complete, systematic and convenient.
“Noon napakadaming complaints ng mga tao kasi hindi pa sila nasanay. It’s about changing the behavior of the commuters, the bus operators and the bus drivers. Nung una napakadaming reklamo nung mga commuters, pero ngayon nasanay na sila. Naramdaman na nila kung ano yung pagbabago na ibinigay ng PITX,” De Leon said.
The undersecretary added that through PITX, they are changing the old ways of commuters of waiting along streets just to ride a PUV.
According to De Leon, the DOTr and other stakeholders continue to work to further improve PITX and to provide the best transport service to Filipinos.