With their fate hanging in the balance, operators and drivers public utility jeeps (PUJ’s) are deeply worried over the planned entry of public utility buses (PUB’s) that would eat up a major portion of their routes driving them into bankruptcy.
PUJ drivers plying the Tagbilaran-Dauis-Panglao route aired their fears over DYRD “Inyong Alagad” even as mounting complaints on the quality of their services and the road worthiness of their jeepney units came under fire from irate commuters.
PUB’s owned and operated by Southern Star Bus Transit, Inc. responding to the clamor from disgruntled commuters for the entry of their regular and air conditioned “yellow buses” is now awaiting the green light from the Local Government Unit of Panglao.
Panglao PUJ’s owned by several local operators have monopolized routes with their outdated, dilapidated and unsafe units that is the bane of commuters heading to the prime tourist destination of Bohol.
Commuters castigated drivers for ignoring their complaints against their shoddy service and their utter discomfort when taking their jeepneys that have seen better times.
Peak hours pushed passengers to sit on the roof of the buses while others cling to the sides just to get a ride to and from their destinations.
Passengers also griped over the practice of jeepneys squeezing them into their cramp seats while fighting over space with pails of fish headed for the markets.
PUJ schedules were also denounced by commuters with the last trip departing Tagbilaran City at seven in the evening leaving those working up to 8PM scampering for rides to bring them home.
But PUJ operators said that they have gave in to the demands of the commuters by adjusting their departure to 9PM, fielding of more units and departures adjusted every thirty minutes regardless of filled capacity.
Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero, in a recent meeting told drivers and operators to shape up and were given a 15 day reprieve or face the entry of Southern Star buses.
Southern Star management told the Chronicle in a recent interview that they are initially fielding four buses for daily trips to Panglao and are just awaiting the go ahead from Montero to start operations.
Southern Star, operated by Vallacar Transit Incorporated operates a 130 bus fleet to almost 90% of routes all over Bohol with more than thirty air-conditioned buses.(Chito M. Visarra with reports from Allen Doydora)