Much to my surprise when I got to the Ecoland bus terminal in Davao City, seeing for the first time the new buses of Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI). It was big, huge, in fact compared to their usual airconditioned and deluxe buses with plush seating, cavernous baggage compartment and a built in toilet! It seats 49 passengers and is probably the first in Mindanao, if Super 5, that other big company that plies the CDO-Iligan route hasn’t beaten it yet.
Mindanao, although the second largest island in the Philippines has only a few big bus lines serving the major routes with Ceres Liner the dominant provider. It owns Ceres Liner that plies the CDO-Surigao route with its yellow buses. It’s own Rural Transit (Bachelor and Fortune Express were bought out in 1985, Lilian and Mary May Express in 2005) plies the CDO-Gensan, Davao, Pagadian, Zamboanga, Dipolog routes.
I have only seen these buses plying the CDO-DVO and CDO-ILIGAN (and vice versa) routes and according to the guard that I spoke to at the terminal, started last week. These buses are manufactured by King Long of China and the type, the XMQ6129Y, have been awarded Coach of the Year in the BAAV 2007, a yearly bus industry competition.
I took this bus from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro as well as Cagayan de Oro to Iligan. The seats are comfortable and, unlike RTMI’s older buses, made the trip more bearable when it passed through road works in Bukidnon. The flat screen TVs are also clear although there were differences in the rendering of the colors and contrast. One problem though is I kept on bumping into these TVs when going down.
Although better buses have been in Luzon for years, those with built in toilets, sleeper types and the like, it’s only recently that Mindanao has a taste of these kind of buses. Is RTMI the first and only one offering new units? Actually, its competitor, Super 5 Transport Inc., which covers a smaller area has better Higer buses since 2014 but I haven’t seen one that offers built in toilets.
Please, this is not the bus company. If you have questions re bus schedules, trips and more, here is their address and contact information from GOOGLE:
Address: Zone 1, Barangay Bulua, Cagayan de Oro, 9000 Misamis Oriental
Phone:(088) 858 588
All images taken with the LG G3