Airport transport service starts mobile booking

TRAVELERS can now request and book an airport public transport vehicle through mobile booking app, the first internet-based booking application in the operation of accredited land transportation service at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) similar to that being used by other transportation network companies.

The new system, formally launched by Airport Shuttle Service, Inc (ASSI) on Monday, aims to provide the riding public more convenience and safer as their trips are being monitored from boarding to point of destination.

“Our riding public will now be more comfortable and secured in booking their ride to their intended destination with this new mobile booking app in place. Travelers can access and download ASSI booking app thru Google Play,” Romeo Sayaman, ASSI chairman and president, said.

Sayaman added there will be no more hassle on the part of the riding public because “there will no longer be burdened with hailing taxi cabs and haggling with solicitors and most importantly, they are assured of no overcharging and no surging fares. Fixed rates prescribed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are flashed. No additional fees are charged for its use.”

ASSI is one of the land transport service providers accredited by Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to exclusively operate within the airport premises.

MIAA transport concessionaires complied with the MIAA rigid requirements – paying concession fees, utilizing only LTFRB-franchised and Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited company vehicles, tourist-plate vehicles with MIAA stickers and duly covered by comprehensive and passenger insurance.

The drivers, on the other hand, must first undergo DOT as well as Airport Police Department (APD) seminars before the MIAA provide accreditation and allow them to operate the airport transport units.

“Definitely no colorum vehicles will be deployed. All of them are properly identified,” Sayaman stressed.

He added, “in support of GM Eddie V. Monreal’s relentless efforts to improve the image of the country’s premiere airport and at the same time encouraging the people working and serving at NAIA to improve it from the list of “worst” airports in the global travelers’ survey, ASSI is proud to be the first MIAA transport concessionaire to respond to this drive.”

The transport executive further said this Filipino ingenuity initiative is part of ASSI’s commitment in helping MIAA addresses not only the transportation inadequacies but also modernizing the transportation activities within its premises as well as ridding the premier airport from all kinds of illegal transaction.

“As technology becomes more readily available to average smart phone users, ASSI creates this smart phone-based technology for vehicle booking app, similar to that being used by UBER, GRAB and others. This initiative is also in consonance with LTFRB’s direction of encouraging the use of advanced technologies and innovations for all forms of public land transport,” Sayaman said.

ASSI has deployed at least 25 vehicles in four NAIA terminals approved by LTFRB.

Aside from Metro Manila mobile booking, the passengers can also book online for provinces such as Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bagiuo, and Batangas unlike Uber and Grab which limited to Metro Manila.

Monreal, who has supported the ASSI’s upgrade welcomes the new development “provided it is legal.” He explained the MIAA will still be checking the mobile booking application if it contains safety features for the riding public.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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