High Priority Bus System Kicks Off in Davao
A total of 45 buses will be arriving in Davao City this month as part of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) legacy project of Mayor Sara Duterte. The 45 buses, the first batch of the initial 90 buses that will kick off the HPBS, are part of the comprehensive public transport modernization plan initiated by the city’s mayor and financed by a PHP3.6 billion loan package from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The buses feature 50 passenger seats, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, cashless payment devices, and Euro 4-compliant engines. Because of the added conveniences, fares for a ride in the HPBS buses will be significantly higher than the city’s public utility jeepneys (PUJs).
City politicians say the buses will be subject to pilot testing when they arrive. The testing is not expected to affect PUJ operations as jeepneys will still continue to operate alongside the buses. The local government plans to have the HPBS buses service the main routes and limit the PUJs to feeder routes.
Aside from the purchase of the buses, the ADB loan will also be used to finance the construction of stops, depots, and terminals for the buses, as well as the retrofitting of intersections and the acquisition of road-right-of-way.
Davao City has requested the Philippine government that it be exempted from the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) as it wants to develop modern buses instead.