Online booking eyed to ease congestion

Rona T. Fernandez

ASIDE from putting up ticketing counters by the entrance of the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT), the Provincial Government may resort to providing an online booking option to ease congestion.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, the establishment of an online ticketing portal will be part of the measures to decongest and ensure safety and security in the facility.

“It will be much convenient and easier for our passengers. For now, we are working on the construction of our physical ticketing counters,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

The governor is set to meet again with the 30 bus lines operating at the CSBT to discuss plans to open an online ticketing portal and to construct the physical ticketing counters at the terminal.

Once activated, the online portal will work simultaneously with the physical ticketing counters.

This would mean that southbound passengers may choose to either buy their bus tickets ahead of time through online booking, or purchase them right at the terminal entrance.

For now, Garcia said, the “No Ticket, No Entry” policy will remain in effect despite public clamor to scrap the system because of congestion at the terminal.

She said the policy must be implemented to keep the terminal free of loitering bystanders and to ensure the safety of passengers.

“Let them try going to the terminals of seaports and airports if they can directly enter without any ticket. What makes a bus terminal different? Whether you are a passenger by air, sea or land you are a passenger. Wouldn’t you expect that your own safety and security be given primary importance?” Garcia said.

On weekends, peak season or when the “need arises,” bus lines will issue an entry pass to keep passengers from crowding the entry way.

Passengers with entry passes can proceed to the waiting area.

The issuance of tickets will be done at the lounge, right before passengers board the buses.

Once they have their tickets, the bus lines will reclaim the entry passes.

To ensure that those with entry passes are passengers, they will all be contained in the waiting lounge.

If a person is found inside the terminal without any intention of buying bus tickets, he or she will be escorted out immediately.

“We will not scrap the policy. Sometimes it’s difficult to let go of something you are so used to. But the downside of allowing just everybody to go inside the terminal is that passengers and non-passengers can go in. When this happens, it’s their own safety and security that is compromised,” Garcia said.