Cebu bus station goes cashless

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PRESS HERE Cebu South Bus Station in Cebu City is implementing the use of ‘touch cards’ from Tuesday as it is cashless amid the COVID-19 pandemic. —DALE ISRAL

CEBU CITY – Cebu’s largest bus terminal has become ‘cashless’ to minimize contact amid persistent threats from COVID-19.

Cebu officials on Tuesday launched the automated ticketing system for the Cebu South Bus Station (CSBT) run by the provincial government and located in Cebu City, using rechargeable cards.

Passengers would no longer need to pay on board the buses and would only have to type their card at the terminal.

Currently, cash options use single quick response tickets or QR code tickets purchased at counters inside the terminal.

The provincial government of Cebu has engaged the services of Topline Hi-Tech Synergy Corp. to manage the cashless program.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia described the new development as “a shining moment” for Cebu. The plan to go cashless to CSBT was developed in 2019 and accelerated due to the pandemic, ”Garcia said at the launch last Tuesday in the presence of Topline CEO Eugene Frederik Lim, director of the Central Land Transport Bureau of Visayas Victor Caindec, and of the land transport franchise and The director of the Regulatory Council Eduardo Montealto Jr.

Passengers can purchase a card rechargeable at the P100 at counters inside the CSBT to access terminal bays and board their designated buses. Reloadable cards can also be purchased or reloaded at partner convenience stores like 7-Eleven.

Since the system is new to Cebu, guides have been assigned to assist passengers.

Starting point

The CSBT, which has a traffic density of around 5,000 passengers per day, is an important departure point for commuters from Cebu City heading south to Cebu, mainly to board ro-ro ships bound for the neighboring island of Negros.

CSBT director Carmen Quijano said the terminal has been earning an average of 3-4 million pesos per month since January 2021.

Income, however, is not yet at the pre-pandemic figure, which averaged P 6.7 million to P 7 million during peak travel season.

She said CSBT’s income was improving. At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, CSBT’s revenue fell to less than P 1 million per month.

—DALE ISRAL

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