Street Smart Advice for Public Transport Options in Cebu

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Allow these street smart tips to guide you in getting around Cebu.

Is public transport your way of getting around the city?

You’ve probably tried out various options to get to your desired destination. Be it via taxi, jeepney, or habal-habal.

These options are definitely more affordable than having to book a car or taxi through a ride hailing app. But considering the number of people taking the daily commute, it can be extremely inconvenient and time consuming to get a ride.

That being said, there are some street smart ideas you can use for the various public transport options in Cebu.


The term “street smart” is defined as being prepared for unexpected circumstances, especially in urban areas or big cities.

This also applies to having enough knowledge about something and knowing how to adapt to various situations.

Street smart individuals are hyper-vigilant, but they also know how to blend in with a crowd. They trust their instincts and avoid getting into tricky situations.

When it comes to commuting, street smart people are familiar with the many routes and shortcuts. They learn the ins and outs of a specific city, which shows how resourceful they are when in tough situations.

With public transport, being street smart can help you save time and maybe even money. Getting around will also be easier and more convenient.

  • Traditional Jeepneys

Philippine jeepneys continue to be the go-to public transport option among locals and tourists.

Let’s start with the kings of the road, the Philippine jeepneys. These former army vehicles were converted into a means for public transportation, and they have been commonly used in the country for years.

In Cebu, jeepneys have codes for specific routes. Having a general idea of which number coincides with which barangay helps you determine which routes allow you to get to your destination faster.

If you aren’t familiar with jeepney routes, here is a short guide on the different routes in Cebu.

When inside a traditional jeepney, remember that these are open-air vehicles and may be susceptible to roadside snatchers. Make sure you watch over your valuables so that pickpockets can’t snatch them away from you.

Some individuals who commute late at night end up standing on the platform of the jeepney just so they can get a ride home. This is an extremely risky position to be in since you are technically outside the vehicle.

It’s mostly guys who hitch a ride on a jeepney by standing on the platform. If you do this, make sure you have one foot inside to keep your balance and share the space in case someone else is standing on the platform with you.

If you have both feet on the platform, hold on to the railing as tight as you can so as not to fall over.

  • Modernized Jeepneys

Modernized jeepneys are more comfortable for your daily commute.

E-jeeps are relatively safer compared to other public transport options because they keep passengers safe inside. They’re also more spacious, in which people can stand on the aisle if all the seats are taken.

However, some drivers tend to overload the jeepney, making it more difficult to get in and out of the vehicle.

Try looking for a spot near the door so you won’t have to go through the large crowd of people.

When standing, hold your bag in front of you to keep your belongings safe. Hold on to the handles or lean by the railing or the back of the jeep to keep your balance.

  • Habal – Habal

Habal-habal is another convenient option for public transport.

Another popular public transport option is a motorcycle taxi, locally called habal-habal. Most commuters use this when traveling to mountainous areas like Cebu Transcentral Highway or to more secluded areas that aren’t accessible to jeepneys.

It’s an ideal option if you’re in a hurry. There are also hundreds of habal-habal drivers in almost every part of the city.

For a safer ride, you can opt for a habal-habal wherein the driver provides you with a helmet. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them to drive slowly.

  • Bus
Bus at the South Bus Terminal

Buses are an ideal option if you want to commute to the province.

Buses are used for longer trips, usually to the provincial side of the island. This is an affordable option if you want to explore the many hidden gems in the provinces of Cebu.

Buses are stationed at either the North or South Bus Terminal, depending on which side of the province you’re going to. Both terminals have well-maintained amenities that allow passengers to feel safe and comfortable throughout the trip.

Being familiar with these two terminals will make traveling to the provinces much easier, and they are relatively cheaper than having to rent a car or take a taxi.

The length of the ride may cause motion sickness, so if you are susceptible to nausea, bring some scopolamine or bonamine with you.

It pays to be street smart, especially when it comes to traveling or getting around. With the aforementioned tips in mind, you’ll have a good idea how to navigate certain areas during your daily commute.

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