LAOAG CITY—Late-night commuters in Ilocos Norte have welcomed the revival of the ‘night express’ transportation services starting last November 6 to minimize travel costs when riding on a public utility jeep for home or going to work, school or other areas.
Reigniting the evening vibe in the city, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte under the administration of Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc has revived the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC), an initiative of former Ilocos Norte Governor and now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos to develop an integrated traffic management system and streamline the transport sector by coordinating with public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators throughout the province.
Like in previous years, the Ilocos Norte government provides gas subsidy for public utility vehicles who are members of MINC including health insurance coverage in case of emergency while in the line of duty.
In 2015, the MINC was launched in support of the provincial government’s aggressive promotion by attracting tourists to visit Ilocos Norte.
This also paved the way for the centralization of jeepney terminals at the west wing of the Capitol parking lot to serve commuters and tourists who need to travel at night.
It also lessened the transportation expenses of residents dependent on big bus liners when traveling late at night or early in the morning.
“Ito ang unang pinagawa ni Governo Manotoc sa MINC; to start ‘Night Express’ again,” said Perry Martinez, head of MINC.
He said the revival of MINC is meant to serve residents who work late at night and need to go home without spending too much for travel.
The new “Night Express” terminal is located on Paco Roman St., east side of the Provincial Capitol Building.
Initial fare offerings range from PHP8 to P35 for the routes between Bacarra-San Nicolas-Batac-Paoay; Dingras-Pasuquin; and Laoag,-San Nicolas-Batac-Paoay.
“For now, we will study these routes for a month or two before considering adding more routes if needed,” Martinez said in response to some requests from the public that other routes should also be added until 11 in the evening.
“I am thankful that the ‘night express’ is back because there are times when we need to finish a school project at night and we end up spending more just for fare,” said Jezreel Bagcal, a graduating civil engineering student in Batac City. Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com