By Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The Bacolod Traffic Authority Council (BTAC) convened yesterday to discuss the proposed five new routes for modernized jeepneys here.
During the meeting, a motion was passed establishing additional routes to travel to and from the Ayala Malls Capitol Central and surrounding establishments.
The proposed routes to be opened are those coming from Homesite, Fortune Towne, Alijis, Eroreco, and Shopping-La Salle.
BTAO head Patrick Lacson, in a media interview, said that besides Ayala, it is but fitting to have all routes pass by the area because of the Provincial Capitol, wherein commuters especially those far away, can have access to the provincial government.
“Ang question kung may market. Anhon ang routes kung wala market?,” Lacson asked.
Lacson said that based on the calculations they have, there’s a target market of about 5,000 mall employees not to mention the Capitol employees.
“But as to how it could affect the transport sector in general, that we have to balance,” he added.
As soon as the resolution gets the approval of the City Council, Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez wants to start the test run by the first quarter of December.
Lacson said they have to sit down and make consultations with the stakeholders and the transport sector about this proposal.
Sharon Ciocon, Mall Manager for Ayala Malls Capitol Central, also proposed for an interim terminal to be opened for all the operators that will ply the new routes.
Lacson said the mall offered 3,700 square meters to establish a terminal for the modernized jeeps plying the new routes in the said area.
The terminal will be located along San Juan Road, right beside the mall’s parking area.
Currently, the city has 600 modernized jeepneys, according to Benitez in his recent press briefing.