With more than 12,000 bus units serving in different locations around the Philippines, the Yanson Group of Bus Companies is the biggest land transportation company in the country and the biggest bus company in Asia.
But despite its large size, Yanson Group is not known to many people, especially those who are not from the Island of Negros and Panay. The company owns popular bus companies like Ceres, Vallacar, Goldstar, Bachelor Express, Rural Transit of Mindanao, and several other bus companies in Visayas and Mindanao.
Subsidiary or not, let’s take a look at the top ten biggest bus companies in the Philippines in terms of fleet size. ( Note: Figures are the closest estimates based on available data online, and some personal knowledge of the writer)
1. Bachelor Express
Bachelor Express Incorporated is a bus line under the umbrella of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC). It operates bus transport services in the eastern and central part of Mindanao, with bases in Butuan City and Davao City. With around 2,500 bus units as of 2016, the company accounts for 30% of bus routes in Mindanao.
2. Rural Transit of Mindanao
Rural Transit of Mindanao Incorporated (RTMI) is a bus line under the umbrella of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies (YGBC). It operates bus transport services in the northern and western part of Mindanao, with its headquarters in Cagayan de Oro. Its bases are located in Bulua and Yacapin (both in Cagayan de Oro), Pagadian, and Dipolog. With more than 2,400 units, the company shares 30% of bus routes in Mindanao with her sister companies Bachelor Express and Mindanao Star Bus Incorporated.
3. Vallacar Transit Incorporated
Still, under the umbrella of Yanson Group of Companies, Vallacar Transit operates in Negros and Panay Islands serving at least 80% of bus routes. Vallacar is the very first franchise bought by Ricardo Yanson and is the backbone of the whole Yanson Group of Companies. Vallacar stands for Valladolid and La Carlota (a town and City in central Negros Occidental). Ceres Liner, Ceres Tours, and Sugbo Transit are all under Vallacar Transit having 900+ bus units combined. Vallacar Transit headquarters is in Bacolod City where the Yanson group corporate headquarters and its bus assembly plant are located.
4. Five Star Bus Company
Pangasinan Five Star Bus Company, Incorporated, or simply known as Five Star is a bus company in the Philippines, servicing routes provinces of Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Isabela, and Cagayan. Five Star has around 900+ buses in its fleet as of 2017.
5. Victory Liner
Victory Liner, Inc. (VLI) is one of the largest provincial bus companies operating in the Philippines, servicing routes mainly to the provinces of Central Luzon which includes Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, and Northern Luzon which includes Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, Isabela, and Cagayan. This bus company played a major role in the transport industry since it became the product of Japanese occupation in the country after World War II, with used Chevy trucks from the United States Army as their primary transportation fleet. Currently, Victory Liner has more than 900 buses actively operating.
Philtranco is a Philippine transport company in the Philippines with a reach from Luzon to Mindanao. Philtranco is also one of the largest bus companies in the Philippines and the oldest bus company to exist (1914). With the alliance of Jam Liner, Philtranco has currently around 800 units of buses in its fleet.
7. JAC Liner
JAC is 7th on the list serving North and South Luzon after acquiring Dagupan Bus. With more than 600 bus units combined, JAC is not the biggest (according to Wikipedia).
8. Baliwag Transit
Baliwag Transit, Inc. is one of the largest bus transportation systems in the Philippines with offices and terminals in various parts of Luzon. It mainly services routes to and from Metro Manila and Central Luzon. Most of its terminals are located in Nueva Ecija, where some of its terminals are located in Baliuag, Cabanatuan, and San Jose. As of 2016, Baliwag Transit has around 600 bus units in its fleet.
9. Ceres Transport
Ceres Transport is under the umbrella of Yanson Group of Companies and is serving Batangas to Manila route. It also serves Roro from Manila to Dumaguete. Based on Batangas City, Ceres Transport has more than 350 bus units in its fleet.
10. Genesis Transport
Genesis Transport Service, Inc., also known as Genesis Transport or simply Genesis, is a provincial bus company in the Philippines, operating routes connecting Metro Manila to Central Luzon and Northern Luzon. Genesis Transport has more than 300 actively operating bus units.
Honorable mention bus companies that have sizable fleet size but failed to enter the top ten list are DLTBCo (former BLTBCo), Fariñas Transit Company, HM Transport, Saulog Transport, Davao Metro Shuttle, Raymond Transport, Bicol Isarog Transport System, and Partas among others. /Dino Ventura/