THE Baguio City government has revived the hop-on-hop-off (HoHo) bus system to accommodate the growing levels of traffic in the city brought about by increasing tourist numbers bringing along their private cars.
Relaunched on July 15, the buses are expected to pull some 50 vehicles out of the city’s roads per day.
Alec Mapalo, supervising administrative officer of the City Tourism Office (CTO), said that tourists will soon be asked to leave their cars at the Baguio Convention Center and use the HoHo buses to move around the city instead.
Figures from the CTO indicate that the city is seeing as many as 5,000 tourists daily and up to 60,000 weekly, many of whom bring their own vehicles to the city.
“Supposing half of the daily tourist arrivals have their own cars, we can estimate more than 800 vehicles passing Botanical Garden during weekdays and even more during weekends so really there is a lot of traffic in the area,” Mapalo said.
The buses follow a self-directed tour circuit with Botanical Garden as the first stop; the Mansion House as the second stop; the Mines View Park for the third stop and then back to Wright Park as the fourth stop via Gibraltar Road. The drop-off point is at Gov. Pack Road.
Seven trips are scheduled per day, with a 30-minute interval per trip for two buses starting at 8:30 AM and ending with the last trip at 6:20 PM.
The buses are free of charge, but tourists have to pay parking fees for leaving their cars at the Convention Center. In order to avail of the free rides, a tourist must present their QTP from the Baguio Visitor Information and Tourist Assistance (VISITA) system. Therefore, the rides are available only for the pre-registered tourists.
Mapalo said they will adopt the city’s existing parking rate at the Baguio Convention Center as follows: P35 for light vehicles for the first two hours plus P10 for every additional hour of parking; P40 for mini excursion buses plus P15 per additional hour; P400 regular tourist buses and P15 per additional hour; and, P10 for motorcycles with P5 additional per hour of parking.