The Cebu North Bus Terminal (CNBT) will have its soft opening on October 12 in its new location in SM City Cebu with the full-swing operations set on October 15.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said this in a meeting with the members of the Economic Enterprise Council on Wednesday, September 23, of which she sits as chairperson.
She hoped to mark October 12, her birthday, with the acceptance of the Cebu Provincial Government to run the terminal in partnership with SM Prime Holdings, Inc.
The operations of the CNBT will now be at the compound of SM City Cebu expected to serve constituents traveling via public transportation to the northern towns and cities of the Province.
According to Provincial Treasurer’s Office chief Atty. Roy Salubre, a canopy and a bus parking bay for the temporary CNBT will be put up in a quadrangle at the vicinity of a hotel nearby the commercial mall.
The operation is in partnership with the management of SM City Cebu with the assistance of Maria Eloisa “Marissa” Fernan, senior vice president of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.
CNBT is expected to cater around 90 buses which have been deployed to serve the northern routes, including the fleet of Ceres buses operated by Vallacar Transit.
The facility is also seen to serve around 300 trips daily, offering better bus travel experience, for a projected half of what used to be 5,000 daily passengers during pre-Covid times.
The decline in the number of passengers is brought by the stringent public health protocols that are continually imposed such as the 50-percent reduction in seating capacity to maintain physical distancing.
When Cebu’s community quarantine status and travel restrictions eased up, the bus terminal was temporarily transferred from Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City to Consolacion town.
As buses will pass by Mandaue City which has its own traffic scheme for buses, the Cebu Provincial Government, represented by Legal Consultant Atty. Benjamin “Ben” Cabrido, Jr., and the Mandaue City Government agreed that buses can enter SM City Cebu via Mandaue’s thoroughfares.
In January of this year, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes already expressed disinterest in the renewal of the contract on the north bus terminal to give way to the construction of a new government center that will house a police station and a fire station in the area in Subangdaku.
Since it is observed that constituents of the Province of Cebu take a chunk of the volume of CNBT users, the Capitol took over the responsibility of providing a facility in collaboration with SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (Eleanor Valeros)