UPDATE: September 21, 2017
Last September 20, a member of TheFortCity.com team came back again to check the shuttle service. He arrived at the terminal at 8 PM looking for a ride to go to Cavite. To his delight, the shuttle service was still up-and-running. However, he also noticed some aspects of the service that could discourage riders.
A long queue in the terminal for people going north.
Since there were more people going north (Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Marikina) and fewer people going south, the driver of the shuttle going south waited more than 30 minutes, the waiting time allotted for each shuttle, before starting the trip. Furthermore, there were no more Cavite vans left in the terminal, forcing him to take the Alabang van which only took him as far as South Station. His van only left the terminal at around 9 PM, so his total waiting time was one hour. This can be a hassle especially if you're rushing to go home already. We just hope that the service during rush hour is more frequent and that the service provider can come up with a reliable departure schedule, so even if the service is less frequent outside rush hour, riders will know when to expect a van to depart.
There are BGC Buses going around Bonifacio Global City, but they are still not enough to accommodate the huge number of commuters in The Fort. Furthermore, BGC Buses can only bring you to as far as Market! Market! or EDSA-Ayala. There are public transport alternatives such as Grab or Uber, but apparently starting July 26, they will have to lay off almost two-thirds of their drivers after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) crackdown.
Good thing there is a new shuttle service in Uptown Mall operating from Mondays to Fridays (4 PM-10 PM) and sometimes Saturdays if requested. This service was started by Megaworld Corporation to ease the commute of their employees working in the Uptown area. It began operation late April this year, and as of this month, more and more commuters are finding this shuttle service a little more convenient than other systems of transportation.
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The shuttle operation there is not owned by any transport company. Instead, it is organized by Megaworld and operated by a group of drivers who own a van or car. There is a "terminal coordinator" at the waiting area who can assist you if you have any question. As of the moment, the terminal is composed of around 20 vans, which have the capability to accommodate 10-18 passengers each. The terminal is located at the Lower Ground Floor of Uptown Mall and is near McDonald's.
The temporary terminal is located at the LG/F of Uptown Mall near McDonald's.
TheFortCity.com recently (mid-July 2017) investigated the shuttle service to compare it with the traditional modes to commute from Fort Bonifacio to other parts of Metro Manila and even cities as far as Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
FARE: BGC Uptown Mall Shuttle Service
We asked the drivers about the available routes and how much fare they charge for each. Below is a table that summarizes our findings:
|Antipolo - P90||Sta. Rosa, Laguna - P100|
|San Mateo - P80||Imus, Cavite via Daang Hari Road - P90|
|Cogeo - P80||Alabang - P70|
|Marikina - P60||Sucat - P50|
|Cubao - P60||Bicutan - P50|
|Crossing (Shaw Blvd./Ortigas) - P45|
|SM Megamall/Robinson's Pioneer - P45|
|Pasig (Lifehomes) - P40|
|Pasig (Rosario) - P35|
|Pasig (Palengke) - P25|
Comparing it to the regular bus rates found in EDSA, it is much more expensive, but for some people, it is way more convenient and comfortable especially during this rainy season.
Convenience and Comfort
One of TheFortCity.com team members tried the Imus, Cavite via Daang Hari Road, and found it much less of a hassle for him compared with regular buses. To take the regular bus, he would have to walk towards EDSA Orense via Estrella Street or take the West Route BGC Bus going to Ayala. After that, he still has to wait for a bus going to Dasmarinas/Pala-Pala (trust us, these kinds of buses does not pass by very often).
While waiting for at least 9 other passengers that will take the same route, he walked around and talked with fellow passengers.
NOTE: They have a rule that they won't let people board the van until there are already 10 or more passengers. Don't worry, there are seats around the area for waiting passengers.
The influx of people to the terminal starts at around 5:30 PM or 6 PM since there are a lot of offices in the nearby buildings. It is advisable to go there at around 5:30 PM so that you won't have to wait a long time before your ride leaves.
Some of the boards showing destinations of the shuttle vans
At around 6:20 PM, the bus left Uptown Mall, and the drop-off was around 7:30 PM near Shopwise, Imus. Compared with the whopping 2-hour commute through the regular jam-packed bus in EDSA, the shuttle service is far more convenient and comfortable for people commuting from North Bonifacio, BGC.
The Uptown Mall terminal also has shuttles going directly to Uptown in Starmall Alabang and Savemore in Biñan, Laguna. The Cavite service just started on July 18, and its terminal in Cavite is located at Shopwise, Imus.
Frequency of Service
The shuttle drivers told us that the vans leave every 30 minutes, but we have a feeling that the vans do not follow a strict schedule.
What do you think of this shuttle service? Share it in the comments below! If you have any questions about the shuttle service, please refer them to the BGC Uptown Mall Shuttle Service Coordinator, Ms. Wynnes Perez at (0916) 579 2746.