MWM Terminals Inc., a consortium led by Megawide Construction Corp., said the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange will open later this month, with full commercial operations expected in November this year, three years after the concession was awarded to the group.

PITX is located beside the old Coastal Mall at Kennedy Road, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.

“Preparations for the opening are in full swing,” said MWM Terminal president Louie Ferrer.

“We will be on soft opening this October with full operations scheduled this November. We are working closely with the DOTr and affiliated agencies such as the LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Bord] to ensure that we are ready,” he said.

One of the flagship projects of the government to ease traffic congestion in inner Metro Manila, the 35-year build-transfer-operate concession was awarded in 2015 to Megawide, an engineering and infrastructure conglomerate.

PITX will serve passengers from Cavite and Batangas going to Metro Manila, and vice versa.

Ferrer said PITX was designed to be “the first landport in the country,” providing ease of transfers between different modes of land transportation such as buses, taxis, jeepneys and other public utility vehicles.

The terminal building will have three levels. Departure bays for buses, jeepneys, and taxis are situated on the ground floor, while bus arrival bays are located on the second floor. The third floor is dedicated to private car parking facilities, AUV bays and will have a future connection to the LRT-1 extension project.

PITX has a terminal capacity of 200,000 passengers per day with an expected footfall of close to 100,000 passengers daily. The terminal systems are designed to be passenger-friendly, such as the assured seating system for buses, public information displays in multiple locations and ample seating throughout. Automated boarding pass scanners will ensure that passengers can board buses only during their chosen trip schedules.

“Our goal is to deliver hassle-free transfers between multiple modes of transportation in PITX. Many of our technologies are being used for the first time in a bus terminal setting in the country,” Ferrer said.

He cited studies showing that PITX would have a more consistent and fairly guaranteed footfall compared to typical malls which are affected by seasonality, holidays or weather.

“With the terminal and the four towers of office space, we can expect PITX to meet an average daily footfall of approximately 100,000, which provides a great opportunity for tenants and other business partners,” he said.

Atop the PITX are four office-grade towers that will allow tenants to benefit from the facility’s strategic location and 24/7 safe and friendly transport access. Each tower has a total of 17,900 square meters of net leasable area. The first tower will open in the first half of 2019.

Inside the terminal are 12,000 square meters of leasable space that will feature F&B, retail and service options which will open by December this year.

PITX will also feature special facilities not normally found in other land terminals. “We conducted studies on what passengers on-the-go often look for. We are catering a diverse set of customers,” Ferrer said.

The terminal will have pay lounges with shower rooms in consideration of passengers needing to freshen up after a long travel. There is also a comfortable breastfeeding area for mothers, and a multi-faith meditation room.

Another highlight of the PITX facility is the gender neutral bathroom. “We felt it was important to have a gender neutral bathroom in PITX for passengers who are gender nonconforming, and for parents who have to accompany young children of a different gender to the bathroom. We may be the first public facility to have incorporated this into our design,” he said.

By Darwin G. Amojelar