Passengers stranded; fewer buses blamed

THE Cebu North Bus Terminal (CNBT) in Mandaue City was full of stranded travelers on Saturday, March 21, 2020, after only a few buses showed up.

Zosimo Jumao-as, CNBT general manager, told SunStar Cebu that less than 150 buses were in the terminal in the morning to ferry passengers. Usually, there would be 300 buses, he said.

Jumao-as said operators deployed fewer buses after they reduced the number of trips from 300 daily to only 100.

“Ang Ceres bus from 150 buses, 56 na lang ilang gipadagan (From 150 buses, Ceres Liner now only operates 56),” Jumao-as said.

As a result, the terminal was full of passengers who couldn’t go home on Saturday, he said.

Since buses are required to accomodate only 50 percent of their overall passenger capacity due to social distancing measures, this resulted to further congestion at the terminal, he added.

Although social distancing is strictly observed inside buses, Jumao-as admitted that it’s a different case inside the terminal.

In the waiting areas, the social distancing requirement of 1.5 meter between persons was not followed due to the facility’s limited space, Jumao-as said.

Regardless of the unexpected congestion at the terminal on Saturday, Jumao-as said they have implemented measures to ensure that those entering the terminal are Covid-19 free.

All passengers, drivers and terminal staff are required to get their temperatures checked and wash and sanitize their hands with alcohol before they are allowed entry to the facility.

If an individual registers a temperature above 38 degrees, the terminal’s security will hold the individual then recheck his or her temperature again for confirmation.

Jumao-as said that if the individual’s temperature remains high after the second scanning, terminal employees will call local police to take the passenger to the nearest health center for further tests and interview. (KFD)