Currently located in N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu’s One Citilink Terminal provides southbound travelers a station for boarding vans for hire, locally known as v-hires. It is situated near Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) and Cebu Technological Center (CTC), just a few away from the South Bus Terminal.
According to an Internet guide on getting around Cebu, there are three modes of transportation that are most popular in the province. Specifically, we have the jeepneys, the tricycles and the vans for hire. The v-hires are similar to the mini-bus, which can carry at least 15 people and at most 20 passengers during rush hours. Yes, it can get quite tight and uncomfortable but it’s the faster choice compared to buses because they only pick up passengers at the start of their designated routes. Unlike buses, they do not need to wait for other passengers to fill the vacant spaces once the vans have left the terminal.
The current rate for a trip on the v-hire is more or less a hundred pesos, depending on the distance. For example, v-hires that ply the Cebu City to Moalboal route can be found at the One Citilink Terminal and cost Php100 per person in 2011. A non-aircon bus plying the same route will cost approximately Php75. Despite the difference in fare rates for buses and v-hires plying the southbound routes, many still prefer the v-hires because of the shortened travel time. From Cebu City, a v-hire can reach Moalboal in approximately two hours, while it will be considerably longer for the bus to reach the municipality.
A v-hire ride will also cost a hundred pesos from Citilink to Balamban. You can also ride a v-hire heading towards Barili, which is two and a half hours away from Cebu City. Badian, which is famous for its Kawasan Falls, is also accessible through this mode of transportation.
Citilink is governed by City Ordinance No. 1958, which was approved last February 20, 2003, and is entitled “An Ordinance regulating the establishment and operation of terminals for public utility jeepneys and v-hire vehicles in the City of Cebu, repealing City Ordinance No. 1773.” The same Ordinance authorizes the continued operation of Cebu’s One Citilink Terminal as a station for southbound v-hires. The aforementioned terminal is the only accredited terminal in Cebu City based on the Ordinance. In fact, the opening of the terminal in 2003 was highly controversial because other terminals were closed down under Ordinance 1958. The operators of these other terminals filed a case before the court.
One of the recent concerns involving the Citilink Terminal is its imminent transfer to a more accessible location. Cebu City’s Mayor Michael Rama has expressed his intention in numerous interviews with local dailies that he wants to work hand in hand with the Metro Cebu Development and Coordination Board (MCDCB) to be able to determine the appropriate new site for a public utility vehicle (PUV) terminal. He expressed that the establishment of such a terminal will affect PUVs within Cebu City and its neighboring cities (Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu).
Mayor Rama and Chairman Sylvan Jakosalem of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM) will review the One Citilink contract separately to determine when their commitments will end as the Cebu City government receives a 15% share of the terminal’s income.
The CITOM is currently tasked by Mayor Rama to look into the terminal’s contract as its private operators seem to no longer be interested in maintaining the said facility. An appropriation of Php50 million for a new terminal in Cebu City was proposed by the executive department at City Hall under the annual budget for 2012. The right site for the new terminal remains to be determined but they are looking into a location that is significantly distant from the central business district as N. Bacalso is no longer considered a viable location because of the volume of traffic in the area. Mini-buses and v-hires are going to eventually be prohibited from plying the City’s major urban thoroughfares as these add to the problem of congestion. The proposed terminal, according to the Mayor, should also complement the City’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
The BRT system is part of the City’s plan to replace jeepneys with buses by 2013. Once the system is fully functional, a total of 190 buses are expected to move over 300,000 passengers every day, which will be created to generate employment for 400 bus drivers. The BRT system along with the Citilink Terminal’s new location are anticipated to address the City’s traffic problems as it aims to become a premier choice for business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism investments.