Top tourist destinations in the Philippines can now be reached easier as a Department of Science and Technology-supported startup digitizes provincial bus booking.
Weekend warriors eyeing a short getaway to the tranquil mountains of the Cordilleras or the scenic beaches of Bicol can now have their buses booked online with Easybus PH, an online provincial bus booking platform aimed at providing a better alternative in going to the regions with an easy-to-navigate online portal.
Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, executive director of the DOST’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), expressed optimism that Easybus PH will be a boon to the tourism industry as well as to the regular commuting public as it provides an easy, convenient, and fast way to get bus tickets to scenic spots around the country.
“With Easybus PH, Filipino commuters can enjoy a mountaintop view or a picturesque sea breeze in just a few clicks. We urge the public to avail of these services and tick off your travel bucket lists with ease,” he said.
Using Easybus PH, commuters can book a bus to Baguio City, Banaue and Lagawe in Ifugao or Daet in Camarines Norte, Naga City and Iriga City in Camarines Sur, Legazpi and Tabaco Cities in Albay, and Gubat, Matnog, and Sorsogon City in Sorsogon.
Commuters can access the portal www.easybus.ph where they can see the date and time of departure of the bus, its destination, the bus line, the bus type, how many seats are left, and which seats are still available. They can pay online or through payment centers with a minimal service fee.
Easybus PH chief executive officer Janmar Dimaano said the struggles of Filipino bus commuters who manually buy bus tickets, endure long queues, and sometimes to no avail inspired them to venture into creating the online bus ticketing platform.
“Digitization will lead to exponential benefits to both the passengers and the bus operators,” Dimaano said.
Ohayami Trans, one of the bus companies that integrated Easybus PH’s booking platform in their system, shared that the platform helped their business a lot by making the reservation process easier.
Jodelle Manghi-Imayamo, reservations manager of Ohayami Trans, said their bookers and administrators can easily detect double bookings and other reservation problems.
“I think, the most important thing that Easybus PH has done for us is that it made our reservation and payment process easier for passengers. Before, we only accept bank, PayPal, and Western Union as payment options, which takes 1-2 days to complete. With Easybus PH, now it only talks minutes to reserve. Moreover, even when I’m not in the booking station, I can easily book seats using my mobile phone anytime, anywhere. This saves me from calling the booking stations to reserve,” she said.
According to Imayamo, she is grateful for this technology because “Ohayami Trans leveled up and is now at par with big bus companies in terms of online reservation. I know that Easybus PH will go far because the people behind it are very dedicated to their craft and very supportive to their clients.”
Dimaano said that the grant from DOST-PCIEERD enabled them to enhance and perfect the platform, proceed to various projects, including their partnership with the Naga Bicol Central Station for continuous testing, and explore the possibility of creating more innovations stemming from the original digital booking platform.
“It has immensely helped us to accelerate the growth of Easybus PH. We are thankful for the trust that was given to us. This gives us the additional drive to fulfill our goals and ultimately impact the transport industry through innovation,” he said.
Dimaano said Easybus PH sees 2019 as an exciting year to further integrate with current partners and introduce the system to many more bus operators. They will also be launching the use of kiosks in various locations to make their systems reach more users.
“Our goal for the year is to stamp a mark on the transport industry, and be known as the leader in the digitization of bus booking,” he said.