PUBLIC transport cooperatives in Davao City will have to consolidate to establish a bigger entity that will be able to operate at least one of the networks under a new bus system, according to a city official.    

Luzminda C. Eblamo, officer-in-charge of the City Cooperative Development Office, said they are working on forming a consortium among existing cooperatives that will be able to raise the financial requirement to run part of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS).  

That is what we are working out, we are trying to capacitate or organize a federation or a consortium of these transport co-opsBecause the costing is really high, especially buying buses,she said in Visayan over the city-run radio station.   

The HPBS will use modern low-floor bus units. It is expected to reduce the number of jeepneys in the city by 80%.  

The planned bus system, which is already partially being implemented, will have 29 bus routes divided into four levels: the MetroDavao forms the core services connecting all major commercial centers with five routes; DavaoInter with eight routes will connect urban areas directly to the central business area; DavaoFeeder District runs nine routes that connect smaller centers with dispersed communities; and DavaoLocal provides connectivity between the remote areas of the city and the integrated transport terminals.  

Davao covers 2,443.61 square kilometers, the largest city in the country in terms of land area.  

Ms. Eblamo reiterated the local governments assurance that jeepney drivers and operators who will be affected by the transition to a more efficient and convenient public transport system will get financial and social assistance as well as alternative livelihood options.  

Those who will be displaced, especially transport co-ops (members), we will be there to support them in terms of livelihoodsour office will be very ready to train them,she said. Maya M. Padillo