Mandaue commuters opt to walk as buses still few

AS THEIR old legs could not withstand a longer waiting time for a bus ride on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Theodora Samaco, 69, and Eliotera Ybanto, 52, decided that they better walk so they can reach the Mandaue City Tourism Office in Barangay CentroThis, as lack of public transportation still persisted on the second day of the general community quarantine (GCQ) in the city.

Ybanto and Samaco had to walk nearly three kilometers before arriving at the tourism office.

They said they waited for buses, but not a single one passed by them.

Not wanting to waste their time waiting, Samaco and Ybanto decided to hike so they could get their certificates allowing them to travel outside Cebu. Leyte-native Samaco and Negros Occidental-born Ybanto were stranded in Cebu during the enhanced community quarantine period.

After getting their certificates from the tourism office, they went to the bus stop near the public market in Centro. They joined the long line, saying their legs could no longer walk another three-kilometer stretch.

To ease the commuters’ woes, lawyer John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, said they asked the Ceres Liner management to deploy more buses to Centro so its buses can carry more passengers, including the market-goers.

Pagsabungan barangay worker Jenny Lyn Bate, 33, said she waited to catch a bus ride for almost an hour.

Bate hoped the City would deploy more buses to accommodate more passengers.

Ibañez said the City deployed 50 buses on the second day of the GCQ. These buses travel within Mandaue City and to neighboring local government units.

During the GCQ status, public utility jeepneys are not allowed to transport passengers as physical distancing cannot be achieved inside these vehicles.

As to Samaco and Ybanto, they said they had waited for two hours at the Centro bus stop before they were able to catch a bus ride. (KFD)