Baguio revives HoHo Bus to offer Free Rides to tourists

The city government will start offering free hop-on, hop-off (HO-HO) bus service to tourists starting Friday.
City tourism officer Aloysius Mapalo, in a phone interview on Thursday, said the service aims to help decongest traffic by letting tourists leave their vehicles in a parking lot and hop on the buses for a free tour of the city.

He said the tourist bus would offer an unlimited free ride to tourists who have approved quick response travel permits that are generated by registering at the online visitors' registration portal.

Tourists will have to park their vehicles at designated parking areas at the Baguio Convention Center (BCC).

Mapalo also said the HO-HO bus is expected to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, especially during weekends when the city logs about 40,000 tourist arrivals, most of them in private vehicles.

This will also help tourists save on gas and from looking for parking spaces.

Vehicle owners who will leave their cars at the BCC will only have to pay PHP35 for the first two hours and an additional PHP10 per additional hour.

Minibuses will be charged PHP40 for the first two hours and PHP15 per additional hour.

Regular tourist buses, however, will be charged PHP400 for the first two hours and PHP15 per additional hour, while motorcycles will be charged PHP10 for the first two hours and PHP5 per additional hour.

Mapalo said the rates are the same as regular parking fees charged by the city government.

"All passengers will be given a ticket to ride on the tourist bus at any scheduled departure time in designated stops around the circuit," he said.

Mapalo noted that there would be two buses on an alternate schedule for a total of seven trips.

The buses will start to pick up passengers at the starting point at the BCC compound at 8:30 a.m., 9:50 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:50 p.m., 3:20 p.m., and 4:30 p.m., the last pick-up schedule.

Every Friday to Sunday, trips are available from 8:30 a.m. until 6:20 p.m.

The buses will pass by the Botanical Garden, Mansion House, Mines View Park, and Wright Park at a specific time.

“No need for pre-registration, just park and ride on a first come, first served basis. There are several trips to serve as many tourists," he said.

Based on the city’s study, the HO-HO bus will help reduce road traffic as the buses could accommodate passengers from 50 cars at a time.

Designated stops allow the tourists to go around popular attraction areas and get off at the Governor Pack Road where they may walk to Burnham Park, the Cathedral, Session Road, and other interesting spots within the central business district, including souvenir and gift shops.

A 15- to 20-minute waiting time at designated stops and 50-minute intervals between rides are planned, with 40 passengers allowed per bus.

Seven trips daily may be done around the given route.

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