MANILA, Philippines — The daily commute from Cavite and Batangas to Metro Manila is expected to improve as the country’s first landport, done through a collaboration of the public and private sectors, opened on November. 5.
The Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) along Coastal Road will deliver a new experience with passenger-friendly systems, multi-modal connections and a wide array of commercial options in a terminal with a daily capacity of 200,000 passengers.
As a flagship project of the current administration’s Build Build Build infrastructure program, the terminal is set to be inaugurated by no less than President Duterte.
The PITX is the first integrated and multi-modal terminal in the southwestern part of Metro Manila, serving as a transfer point between provincial buses from Cavite, Batangas and in-city modes of transportation.
It will also provide interconnectivity between different transport modes and services that will help ensure efficient and seamless travel for the riding public.
Once operational, the PITX is expected to reduce the number of provincial buses plying Metro Manila, specifically along Taft Avenue and EDSA in Pasay City.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) assistant secretary Mark de Leon said the number one benefit of the terminal is convenience as passengers used to wait along the streets of Baclaran, Parañaque City and Lawton in Manila to get a ride.
“When you catch a ride going to Cavite, going to Nasugbu, you stay there without knowing what time the bus will arrive, or if ever a bus will arrive and if it does, there is no guarantee that a seat is available. This will bring convenience because you will now know what time will the bus arrive, and you can even pick where you will sit,” De Leon said.
“Number two is the decongestion of Metro Manila. Since all of the provincial buses going to Cavite and Batangas will now have this as a stop, their terminals along Pasay, along Lawton, along Baclaran will be removed and closed. So it’s one of the solutions, not the ultimate solution, to address traffic. Again, it will help, but it is not the ultimate solution,” De Leon added.
Automated boarding pass scanners will ensure that passengers can board buses only during their chosen trip schedules.
A landport like no other
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the PITX is not just an ordinary terminal but a landmark transportation hub set to uplift the overall experience of the riding public with its design at par with world-class standards.
Tugade said its airport-type facility and service features earned it the distinction of a world-class landport.
For Tugade, the PITX is a testament of how good a collaboration between the public and private sectors could turn out.
The PITX is one of the flagship projects of the government to ease traffic congestion in inner Metro Manila. Its 35-year build-transfer-operate concession was awarded to engineering and infrastructure conglomerate Megawide in 2015.
“Our goal is to deliver hassle-free transfers between multiple modes of transportation in PITX. Many of our technologies are being used for the first time in a bus terminal setting in the country,” Louie Ferrer, president of Megawide subsidiary MWM Terminals Inc., developer of the PITX, said.
According to Ferrer, the design and services of PITX are part of Megawide’s vision to engineer a first-world Philippines.
“We worked with international consultants and studied intermodal stations in first-world cities like Melbourne, London, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to make PITX into the Philippines’ first landport. We want all Filipinos to be able to have a first-world experience, and this is our benchmark for all our infrastructure projects. We’re helping to improve the quality of living in the Philippines, and we can start by delivering a friendly, first-world terminal experience at PITX,” he said.
Unique amenities and offerings
To truly make it a landmark transportation hub, the PITX features special facilities not typically found in other land terminals.
“We conducted studies on what passengers on-the-go often look for. We are catering a diverse set of customers,” Ferrer said.
The terminal will have pay lounges with shower rooms for passengers needing to freshen up after a long travel. There is also a comfortable breastfeeding area for mothers and a multi-faith meditation room for all.
Another highlight of the PITX facility is the gender-neutral bathroom. “We felt it was important to have a gender neutral bathroom in PITX for passengers who are gender nonconforming, and for parents who have to accompany young children of a different gender to the bathroom. We may be the first public facility to have incorporated this into our design,” Ferrer said.
Atop the PITX are four office-grade towers that will allow tenants to benefit from the facility’s strategic location as well as safe and friendly transport access 24/7. Each tower has a total of 17,900 square meters of net leasable area, with the first tower scheduled to open in the first half of 2019.
Inside the terminal are approximately 12,000 square meters of leasable space that will feature food and beverage, retail and service options, which will open by December.
PITX will have services such as ATMs, banks and courier services, among others. Retail offerings include a supermarket and fashion brands that provide everyday necessities, while there will also be a wide array of food and beverage choices for passengers looking for grab-and-go, fast food or casual dining options.
“We respect the time of our customers so essentials and daily needs will be within their reach. We have round-the-clock operations, so some essential outlets open at 5 or 6 a. m. to meet the morning rush. Our commercial area was also designed to be easy to navigate, which makes it much faster for consumers to pick up what they need,” Ferrer said.
According to Ferrer, studies showed that PITX will have a more consistent and fairly guaranteed footfall compared to typical malls which are affected by seasonality, holidays or weather.
“With the terminal and the four towers of office space, we can expect PITX to meet an average daily footfall of approximately 100,000, which provides a great opportunity for tenants and other business partners,” he said.
News source: Philippine Daily Inquirer