Cebu bus operators complain of increased terminal fee

Posted on November 3, 2012

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Barely two days after new rates took effect, mini-bus operators complained about the P200 fee charged for each bus that uses the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT), which is double the old rate.

Julieto Flores, president of the Cebu Mini-Bus Operators Association (CMBOA), said they will file a petition on Monday to reduce the terminal fee.

The request will be addresed to Cebu Gov Gwendolyn Garcia, who scrapped the P5 terminal fee for passengers on Oct. 31 and instead doubled the rate for bus units.

Flores said the objection was joined by Cebu Provincial Bus Operators Association president, Richard Corominas after their meeting yesterday. .

“Now it’s our turn to ask something from the governor,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Flores said about 100 mini-buses use the terminal daily.  Each mini-bus enters the terminal thrice a day for different trips.

Flores said a 20 percent increase in fees was reasonable but doubling the rate or a 100 percent increase was too much.

If their request can’t be granted, Flores said operators will have to petition the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to reinstate the 2008 fare matrix which allows buses to charge commuters P8.50 for the first five kilometers and an additional P1.45 for succeeding kilometers.

At present, bus companies undercollect the official rate and charge only P6 for the first five kilometers and P1.20 for succeeding kilometers, a reflection of stiff competition among bus lines in the province.

The governor said her administration is looking at options after lifting the P5 terminal fee charged to passengers.

She said buses were charged P100 for five years now.

Flores said they told the governor their concerns in a meeting last week and that she said she would elevate this matter to the Economic Enterprise Council (EEC), which she heads.

The province earns P1.5 million a month from passenger terminal fees under the old collection scheme of P5 per passenger.

The governor removed the P5 fee which took effect last Oct. 31. Passenger complaints about the P5 terminal fee were an election issue raised by Garcia’s rivals in the 2010 local election.

The timing of the decision to scrap it, a few weeks after the filing of certificates of candidacy for the May 2013 election , benefited thousands who travel by bus to their hometowns for All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent

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