This is a long-awaited post. I have been meaning to write on this to reach out to more people to hype more about this relatively new service that came to fruition in the last few months of the past administration. I may be wrong as the routes Makati to Trinoma/SM North Ave and vice versa and Makati to SM Megamall and vice versa have been in existence before the Alabang to Makati and vice versa route was launched on 26 April 2016. I’ve been a regular rider since I first tried it in its first week of operation and I can’t stop ditching my old transport mode of the UV Express which plies my village to Makati route. It used to be the safer and convenient alternative as its waiting area is inside the village and it brings me right in front of my office. There is a terminal in Makati Park Square for UV Express vans when going home.
Yes, that’s right. We should rave about this premium bus service for living up to its name… premium, point-to-point. Let’s look at what the buzz is all about…
- The bus is looks new, clean, conditioned, cool to cold, has the added bonus of a flat screen tv, a digital clock and a wifi ….weeeeee. I read that the old RRCG buses would eventually be replaced by the new fleets which are intended as premium buses. New Volvo fleets shown above have been recently added.
- The driver are tidy, in uniform or suitable clothes, courteous and observe traffic rules (speed limits, traffic lights, road signs, etc). I haven’t encountered one who exceeded speed limits or swerved or beat the traffic light.
- The route is point to point…. no in between stops…. which makes the ride fast…. 30 minutes without traffic. Don’t even attempt to have your way with the driver because it wouldn’t work. They follow rules.
- The rules:
- The bus leaves every 30 minutes or hour depending on the time whether or not the bus is filled. Here is the sked for the Alabang to Makati route. It can leave earlier than the 30 minute waiting time if the bus is already filled.
- No standing (There have been exceptions to this rule. Once, a long queue cannot be served on the buses’ designated time because of bad traffic. The dispatcher asked if those still in line would like to stand up. A number of us did since there was no assurance what time the next bus would arrive. From time to time, there would be one or two passengers who would request to ride a full bus when they are in a hurry)
Here my fave driver, Kuya Francis, the epitome of a model p2p bus driver 🙂 He drives with a smile and would always give a hand to riders still finding their balance alighting from the bus.
So far so good….
Lately, areas for improvement would become apparent…
- The queue at the Greenbelt terminal would usually be so long during the peak hours of 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. I also once experience a long queue at the ATC terminal in the morning.
- The wifi doesn’t work well in some buses.
- Their light TV programs would sometime feature gruesome shows.
- The location requires another ride for those not within the ATC area.
For the betterment of their service and even the best service can always have room for improvements, here are some suggestions:
- Devise a queuing system that will allow riders to make better use of their time instead of waiting for the bus to arrive which can be so long at times.
- A better wifi can make the ride more entertaining and engaging.
- How about news as part of the TV programs
- Spread out the joy by extending routes being service in the Las Piñas area. SM Southmall, B.F. Resort are two prime areas to locate other terminals as most riders going to Makati live in nearby villages.
The Alabang to Makati p2p bus is managed by the RRCG Transport System Co. Other bus companies handle other routes. There are talks that an Alabang to Ortigas route is being worked on. The current routes are:
- Trinoma to Glorietta 5 (North EDSA to Makati)
- Alabang Town Center to Greenbelt 1 (Ortigas to Makati)
- SM North EDSA to SM Megamall (North EDSA to Ortigas)
- Robinson’s Galleria to Park Square (Ortigas to Makati)
Even if I was a critic of the past administration, I have to credit them for this innovative initiative as it gave the Southern commuters a better alternative to the cramped and sometimes oven-hot UV Express vans. I hope this type of transportation will continue to proliferate our roads and I bet my bottom peso that more of us will leave our cars and patronize public transportation. The test of progress is not when more people can buy their own cars but when those who have cars take public transportation as it is indicative of trust in a reliable and safe basic service. I am calling the attention of the new Team DOTC under S/Tugade to consider continuing and broadening this types of transport networks.
There you have it… my first review…. My verdict is …….Of course… Use it!