Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: MIAA, Air21 | posted March 14, 2016 12:16
Commuters can now either take the premium airport bus or GrabCar TNVS
Filipino or foreigner, we all share the same dilemma after getting off a plane from a domestic or international flight - how to get home or to the hotel without getting raped by excessive fees from airport taxis or abusive cab drivers.
With an average of 1,600,000 domestic passengers monthly as well as 1,377,000 international passengers for 2015, the airport has only implemented airport express bus services in February of 2016. The turnaround may be extremely slow but the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is finally coming around with some solutions to help passengers get out of NAIA without losing a chunk of their hard-earned money.
Currently, there are six premium airport buses operated by Air21 under "Ube Express" plying two routes to and from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 1, 2 and 3. MIAA has announced that the full 40-bus airport express fleet will be complete by June 2016.
“We expect that by June, there will be around 40 units of the Premium Airport Bus Service. AIR21’s commitment is that by June the units will be complete,” said MIAA spokesperson Dave de Castro.
Since all of these buses are custom-built, it has taken a little longer but MIAA adds that they can be completed as early as April 2016.
These buses operate on a 24-hour basis and have a flat charge of Php 300.
Each bus has large baggage compartments and can accommodate 24 passengers. It also has closed-circuit television cameras, Wi-fi capability and a global positioning system.
In addition to the premium airport buses, the MIAA has granted GrabCar access to pick up passenger from all NAIA terminals starting March 14, 2016.
Similar to Grab mall setups, booths at NAIA terminals will help passenger without the Grab application to book a vehicle.
The loading station in Terminal 1 will be at the main arrival curbside while at Terminal 2 pick-up can be done at the inner arrival curbside between bays 7 and 8. At Terminal 3 it will be at the secondary arrival curbside between bays 5 and 6 while at Terminal 4 it will be at curbside.
Passengers are reminded that there will be a 2-minute waiting policy that will be strictly implemented. GrabCars are instructed to leave after the time is up with or without the passenger.
The base fare, at Php 30, will be the same as non-airport GrabCar services. But a ride booked from the airport will charge Php 12 for every kilometer thereafter.
"There are around 1,500 metered taxis in NAIA but even if we have these accredited vehicles, there's still the need for us to have more transport vehicles here in our pursuit of giving passenger experience," Senior Assistant General Manager, Vicente Guerzon.