Monday, April 26, 2010

The Cebu South Bus Terminal Of Today

This is a pretty archetype on how to degrade public service by playing, listening to politics instead of the riding public! Let me describe what it was (good) and what it is now (getting bad).

01. Your car/cab enters a clean and orderly compound
02. You pay P10 for vehicle entry and get a receipt (doc stamp)
03. You get off at a designated entrance with a turnstile
04. You drop a five-peso coin to pass thru
05. An attendant gives you a documentary stamp as receipt
06. You walk up to your bus company’s counter
07. You choose a time of departure
09. You choose a seat
10. You are given a boarding pass
11. You wait in the airconditioned waiting lounge
12. While waiting you watch TV or eat at the food stalls
13. Someone announces boarding to your bus and on what gate
14. You line up at a glass door (gate) where a guard checks
15. You pile in and look for your seat
16. Bus departs (announcer hollers if its time to go and bus won’t)
Remember these? That was then!

01. Your car/cab enters a clean and orderly compound
02. You pay P10 for vehicle entry and get a receipt (doc stamp)
03. You get off at a designated entrance with a turnstile
04. You drop a five-peso coin to pass thru
05. An attendant gives you a documentary stamp as receipt
06. You ask around where a bus may be
07. You run for it as everyone else is already there!
Bad trip, right?!

Everyone in Cebu knows that the said facility has been an issue that media people in the city keep replaying for thousands of times it already irritates the ear. Don’t they have anything else to tell? Well, there are only quite a handful that they know anyway – namely, the South Bus Terminal, SRP, Balili, Tomas, Gwen, City Hall, Capitol – in whatever order! And, Tomas and Gwen are like children who will jump at any word, comment or allegation that the other camp may have “reportedly” said. (I suspect that sometimes, these media folks are even themselves the instigators for that constant word war). Then everyone else in the city who has access to media will react. Then Tomas or Gwen will react. Then everyone else again reacts (all reacting btw, have not and do not ride buses from the said terminal). Then they change something into something. That is the ugly fate of the South Bus Terminal!

This terminal has put me to shame and tarnished my reputation. Why? Because I’ve been telling friends and family that its one of the best, almost like an airport and so on. Some came to tell me that it was not. Yesterday, on a quick bus trip to Carcar, I realized, yes it is not anymore!

My Take
What is Gwen or his brother thinking? That this is just a family affair and will be looked upon when the rifts are gone? Meanwhile what happens (what happened) to the comfort and convenience of passengers? The service has been degraded back to barbaric days. With Byron’s “endo” (that’s how contractuals in Cebu call it when their contracts end), does that mean the terminal will just return to the usual scrimmage every time you wanted a ride? Shame really!

Folks, please go back to the “Now” scenario described above and read the concern below.

Items 01 and 02 remains the same and I am sure those who let their vehicles or their cabs enter the compound will not die of hunger because they shelled out P10 entry fee. But items 03 to 05 are foolishly useless. I was ready to engage that “sentry” by the turnstiles in an argument but good for him my companion said… run! Because we had to needed to run and wrestle for our desired seats.

Why am I being forced to enter the building (air conditioning btw is already faltering) when I do not have to do anything there? Do I really need to take a cursory look at those nothing-to-do shirtless men watching TV with their feet up?! Why do I have to bother dropping a coin to enter that turnstile and the glass door only to run to the next glass door to exit back out, ask around where my Ceres is and run for it to catch a good ride? Why can’t I just run to my bus immediately upon alighting from the cab? Ngano man?

On this particular trip to Racrac (that’s Carcar for many youngsters) when we exited the glass door to find our bus, our cab was still just negotiating the curb who had to stop to let us pass as we ran. Again, who needs the building? Here is more, before bus departed I asked the conductor why couldn’t I just step out of the cab and walk the few steps to his bus. The reply was “badlongon ka sir”. Why? Who needs the building?

Who needs the building?
Actually, while I keep harping that indeed there is no need for anyone to enter the building (esp if you have big luggage or cargoes), what I want to see is order, comfort and convenience like it was before – almost like an airport. Why can’t it be returned? The riding public has enjoyed such comforts then, so why deprive us now? Who the hell actually replaced Byron at the helm of that terminal? Since Gwen says her brother is doing things against her now, then probably Byron’s replacement is his buddy who by purpose is re-creating chaos to ruin Gwen. Poor us poor passengers, we are like the pawns in a Garcia family chess game. And yet we pay for it, not only with the taxes but a separate and direct payment on site.

Now Tomas is probably smiling at the seeming service degradation of the south bus terminal which naturally means failure of her “best friend” Gwen. But not for long dear mayor, more and more passengers are opting to wait it out along N Bacalso when the buses have already exited the terminal. Of course you remember that corner, right? The hospital that you wanted to close down? Remember?! My conductor says, many riders prefer to hop from there to avoid the “samok” over at the terminal. That part of your city is also returning to the chaotic and barbaric past!


1 comment :

  1. I still like the southbus better than the north bus. I wish there were no 5 peso fee!