Monday, 30 March 2009

Hop-on, hop-off transport launched in Subic

Henry Empeño / Correspondent
Business Mirror
http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/regions/8135-hop-on-hop-off-transport-launched-in-subic.html

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—Travel in the 55,100-hectare free port will now be a breeze this summer with the introduction of a “hop-on, hop-off” bus transportation system.

The first of its kind in the country, the hop-on, hop-off (Hoho) transport system uses a prepaid one-day pass that tourists could buy at designated kiosks for one whole day of unlimited rides aboard any of the “Wow Subic” tourist buses.

The tourist transport system was launched recently by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in cooperation with WoWCard, a business locator engaged in tourism promotion and marketing, to help local tourists visit more attractions here in one day.

“Like eat-all-you-can, Subic’s hop-on, hop-off transportation system is ride-all-you-can,” said SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza. “And it also comes at a minimal price of P200.”

He said two double-deck buses are now plying regular routes that take visitors around Subic’s central business district, stopping at shopping centers along the way, then moving on to various nature theme parks at the free port’s naval magazine area.

In April, two more buses are expected to complete the fleet, Arreza said.

Arreza said the Hoho transport system here took after Metro Manila’s Wow Sakay Na! vans that ferry tourists to various attractions around the metropolis.

“But here, we have commissioned double-decker buses so that visitors can see the area better and thus make their visit worthwhile,” he added.

“With this system, visitors can just leave their cars at their hotels, and then hop on for a day of hassle-free sightseeing,” Arreza also said.

SBMA deputy administrator for tourism Raul Marcelo said the idea of Hoho is for tourists who usually find themselves at a loss about how to visit all the attractions in Subic in just one or two days.

“This is the most efficient solution,” Marcelo said, adding it would also be the ideal scheme for families and big tourist groups, since they could stay together in one vehicle while touring the area.

“If a tourist wakes up at 9 in the morning and decides to go shopping at the Royal Duty Free Store, for instance, he can take a Hoho bus and return to his hotel using another one later.

Then, if he decides after lunch to go to Zoobic Safari, he can also take that trip with his one-day pass, then ride back to his hotel,” Marcelo explained.

Marcelo added the Hoho buses would provide the usual discounts to senior citizens and students.

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