I’ve been living in Cebu City for nearly a decade now and living here has been truly great, except for the heavy traffic during rush hour. I’m not really from Cebu City, I went here to study in college, and in the end, I decided to work here as well.
I heard a lot of travelers and backpackers who visited Cebu, and they found out that getting around Cebu City and nearby cities is confusing. I can truly agree to that, maybe because the public transportation is not that synchronized and modern when you compare it to other South East Asian countries. Apart from that, some road rules are being disregarded by many motorists, which makes the road congested with many undisciplined drivers.
As a local living in Cebu City, getting around Cebu City and nearby cities can be confusing at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll be able to explore the city, particularly the historical sites and all that it has to offer. As of the present, there are around 9 modes of transportation that you can use:
The iconic JEEPNEY in the Philippines
This is the iconic and popular means of public transportation in the Philippines, but the route can be identified differently from other provinces in the Philippines. In Cebu City and nearby cities like Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City and Talisay City, you can identify the specific route of the Jeepney by just looking at the upper side of Jeepney’s front, which has the unique combination of number and letter as a mark or symbol of Jeepney’s route. The minimum fare is Php 7.00.
The word Jeepney is usually conceived to come from the words “Jeep” and “Knee” because of the crowded seating, passengers must sit knee to knee. Hence, the word Jeepney was being used.
These are the following route examples of Jeepney’s in Cebu City:
17B – IT Park, Lahug to Escario to Jones to Colon
01K – Parkmall to SM Cebu City to Colon to Urgello
04C – Lahug to Gorordo Avenue to Mango Avenue to Ramos to Colon
14D – Ayala Mall to Escario to Ramos to Colon
06B – Guadalupe to Capitol to Jones Avenue to Colon
07B – Banawa to Capitol to Jones Avenue to Colon
Cebu City’s Modern Jeepney.
The last quarter of 2018, Cebu City was very blessed to own at least 40 modern Jeepneys that have set off plying around Cebu City’s road. These modern Jeepneys actually have two routes with a PHP 8 fare and an additional P1 for every succeeding kilometer. The two routes are Cebu City Hall-Asia Town I.T. Park via Robinsons Galleria Cebu-Cebu Business Park and vice versa, and R. Duterte St.-Sykes via Happy Valley-Fuente Osmeña-Ramos St.-D. Jakosalem St.-Cebu Business Park. The Cebuanos people are actually very excited to experience more of these Modern Jeepneys in the future.
I just ride a taxi whenever I need to, like I have so much to carry from the supermarket or I’m with friends. The usual scenario is that, when you go inside the taxi, the driver will automatically turn on the meter. If they don’t, insist on using it or get out and hail another taxi. As of the present, the calibrated taxis can now embark on collecting the flag down rate of PHP 40, while an additional PHP 13.50 for every succeeding kilometer, and a PHP 2 is added for every two minutes waiting time in traffic.
There are also yellow taxis near the Mactan Cebu International Airport, but they charge higher than the normal taxis.
CEBU CITY SCAM ALERT (FLAT FARE TAXI) This is actually made me sad, but I really can’t deny the fact that there are taxi drivers who do this, particularly with foreigners and those that visit Cebu for the first time. When you ride a taxi and the driver declines to turn on the meter saying it’s a flat fare taxi. The driver will most likely charge you around 2 or 3 times the usual meter rate. Get off and hail another taxi.
GRAB (GrabCar, GrabTaxi, & GrabCar 6 Seater)
I was then happy when I knew that Grab is already available in Cebu City, which makes commuting hassle-free! I rarely ride Grab, but it has been a big help for me, especially when taxis are not available. I love the convenience that it brings and it is also very safe, particularly when I go home late at night. If you’re traveling in Cebu City and decided to stay longer, I suggest that you download the Grab app to enjoy their exciting promos sometimes. Grab actually provides great options for commuters, since you can choose GrabCar, GrabTaxi or the GrabCar 6 seater if you’re travelling with a group.
MOTORCYCLE OR LOCALLY KNOWN AS HABAL-HABAL
Personally, this is so far the most convenient way of transportation in Cebu City, especially if you’re in a hurry. Though, there are Motorcycle drivers who charge much, but there are drivers who are also not charging a lot. But just in case you seemed to find the fare a bit higher, you merely need to have a haggling skills to get a good price. There is actually an App called Angkas before, and I don’t know if it’s still available as of the present. This is truly awesome because this seemed to be like a Grab, you just have to download the Angkas app, enter your pick up point and your destination, then search for your Angkas driver. But what makes it different is that, Angkas is a motorcycle and not a private car.
If you know how to drive a motorbike, I suggest that you can just rent a motorcycle and drive it yourself.
See motorbike for rent here.
V-HIRE OR VAN FOR HIRE
This mode of transportation may not be useful if you’re traveling around Cebu City, but this is sometimes a great mode of transportation if you’re traveling to nearby cities like Lapu-Lapu City. There is a V-Hire terminal located outside the SM Cebu City, which usually bound for Lapu-Lapu City and Danao City on the Northern part of Cebu. The only thing that I don’t like about this is that, there are 4 passengers sitting in every row, which I find it like a sardine being squeezed in the can. This can be really hot sometimes even it has air conditioned, especially if you’re sitting in the 3rd and the last row. You also don’t have a freedom to move a bit, even getting your handkerchief in your pocket is really difficult.
There are ferries that are sailing in the Mactan Channel as an immediate solution to the terrible traffic along the major roads and on the two bridges linking Mandaue City on mainland Cebu to Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island. These Ferries has been a big help for those passengers from Lapu-Lapu City whose working and studying in Cebu City. I personally recommend this if you are in a hurry. This will usually depart every after 10-20 minutes of waiting in Pier 3 bound for Lapu-Lapu City. The fare is Php 14 and a terminal fee of Php 2.
Perhaps, MyBus is every Cebuano’s dream of experiencing convenient and budget-friendly means of transport from Mactan Cebu International Airport, to Parkmall, to SM City Cebu down to the SM Seaside City and up to Talisay City. SM MyBus is owned and operated by Metro Rapid Transit Service, Inc., a joint venture between SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and JAM Liner, Inc. These buses are manufactured by Mercedes Benz, Daewoo and Volvo and each Bus can accommodate 42 to 90 passengers and all Bus units are equipped with CCTV. For complete routes, fare and schedules, kindly visit here.
BY CAR RENTAL
Yes, due to heavy traffic and most people are not into riding a Jeepney and Taxi. There are those who prefer to simply rent a Car. I haven’t tried it so far, but one of my friends has tried it. This is actually really convenient if you’re traveling with a group of friends or with your family. You can as well use the car to travel to the southern or northern part of Cebu and discover all the hidden gems of Cebu. See car rental here.