By: Jennifer P. Rendon
COMFORT and style. Perks and privileges.
Speaking of modern travel ideas, property giant Megaworld is set to open its transport hubs this year to serve the requirements of the region’s first Premium P2P service in Iloilo Business Park at Mandurriao, Iloilo City.
And these are no ordinary transport hubs. The Transport Hubs cost a total of P350-million to construct. It will have two terminals -one for departures and another for arrivals – that will be strategically located along the township of Megaworld Boulevard, just in front of the Festive Walk Mall.
Each terminal, sitting on a 4,000-square meter lot each, will feature its own Traveler’s Lounge, an airconditioned facility where passengers can relax and wait for their trips at the Departure Terminal, and also wait for their transits or pick-up vehicles at the Arrival Terminal. Each lounge will have shower rooms and toilets, all for the convenience of departing and arriving passengers.
And there’s no catch. Jose Arnulfo Batac, Megaworld’s head of estate management, said while they are offering nothing less than a lavish center, they won’t pass the cost of the terminal to travelers.
Furthermore, for the Traveler’s Lounge of the Departure Terminal, passengers will also have the convenience of booking and purchasing their tickets at its own Ticketing Booths. It will also have Breastfeeding Stations, and Free WiFi access.
Each terminal will also have its own Food Park where passengers can indulge in wide array of food choices while waiting.
On top of that, Batac said there might also be free upgrades for travelers from IBP tenants.
For one, Richmonde Hotel might offer unli-coffee for those who will have snacks at the hotel. Fastfood chain McDonald’s might also offer perks to transport hub’s passengers.
Meanwhile, Batac said that 200 parking slots will also be made available for free at the second and third level of each terminal.
“We aim to provide world-class and convenient service in land transport for the local and international travelers in and out of Iloilo City. Hopefully, this will serve as a model for other transport hubs in the region,” he said.
Batac believed that the said development will not only have a direct impact on the mall but on the whole city of Iloilo as well.
“We foresee this effort to have a huge economic impact in the area,” he said.
PREMIUM P2P BUSES
Starting today, July 11, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-6 is rolling out the first Premium Point-to-Point Buses in Western Visayas, with Iloilo Business Park as its main hub in Panay Island.
The project is part of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), a flagship program spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Richard Osmeña, LTFRB-6 regional director, said around 105 P2P buses, equipped with the auto-pay system, will be launched today to serve the following routes: Iloilo Business Park to Iloilo Airport, Iloilo Business Park to Roxas Airport, Iloilo Business Park to Kalibo Airport, and Iloilo Business Park to Caticlan Airport (Boracay), and vice versa.
Around 15 units, operated by Southwest Tours, will ply the Iloilo Business Park to Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town.
On the other hand, around 90 Vallacar Transit’s Ceres buses will take care of provincial routes, particularly the Kalibo Airport and Caticlan Airport areas and vice versa.
Each bus has a capacity of around 30 to 50 passengers.
Initially, buses are expected to leave every 30 minutes.
“We will still review how the market is responding. But focus might be given during peak hours, especially those headed to airports are sensitive to airline schedules,” Batac said.
For Iloilo Airport, Southwest Tours said they would be charging P80.
But discounts will be given to persons with disabilities (PWDs), students, and senior citizens.
The P2P won’t be limited to these three international airports.
Osmeña said other routes will start their operations soon.
These include Roxas Airport, the Sara Ceres, the Roxas Ceres, and Antique province and vice versa.
At the same time, the LTFRB Region 6 will also simultaneously launch other modernized PUVs composed of 365 taxis and 165 jeepneys, which are also equipped with the auto-pay system.
Batac said the routes are developmental but soon the passengers will appreciate and patronize the system.
“We thank the LTFRB Region 6 for this partnership, and we hope that we are able to contribute to the success of this modernization campaign for the betterment of the country’s transport industry. All of our townships, especially those in urban centers, serve as convergence points of motorists and commuters. Thus, we integrate transport hubs in our developments to meet the transport needs of the local community,” Batac said.
Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao District, Iloilo City is a 72-hectare integrated urban township that is home to rows of residential towers, state-of-the-art office towers, the Festive Walk Mall, the 1.1-kilometer Festive Walk Parade, two first-class hotels (Richmonde Hotel Iloilo and Courtyard by Marriott, the Iloilo Convention Center, the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), and the rising Commercial and Boutique Hotel District.