UBE Express P2P Bus Guide: Travel From The Airport To Almost Anywhere In Manila With This Cheat Sheet

Airports and the cities they serve should be connected conveniently.

In more progressive countries, arrival areas are linked to several parts of the city through airport rail link services, ferrying hundreds of people to different parts of the city swiftly.

The Philippine government does have plans to connect the airport to the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and the planned Metro Manila Subway—but in the future. For now, a good alternative is the Ultimate Bus Experience (UBE) Express airport bus service.

Compared to other modes of transportation, these airport buses are better in terms of seating capacity and PWD accommodation, with added wireless internet connectivity and other features.

UBE Express has four routes that will take you to Makati or Manila. Just recently, they have announced the addition of a new route: the Araneta Center line.

The north remembers

Just recently, UBE Express announced their brand-new line that will cater to airport flyers from Quezon City and nearby cities.

The Air21-owned bus line will now have bus transfers from the new Araneta Center Bus Terminal to all terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and vice versa.

According to the Araneta Center website, a P2P bus ride from the newly serviced area will take passengers two hours maximum to any of the NAIA terminals. Not only this will be helpful for people who need to reach the airport conveniently, but patrons who work nearby can also enjoy the said bus ride.

(Read: Taxi Fare Hike Approved; Recalibrated Units To Be Installed With CCTVs, Mobile Apps)

And the best part of this? You only have to pay P100 for the Araneta Center-NAIA P2P bus ride. The downside? The Araneta Center UBE Express bus line has limited window hours.

For trips coming from the Araneta Center Bus Terminal, the earliest bus will leave at 7:00 am and the latest at 9:00 pm. Meanwhile, the P2P buses from NAIA will dispatch at 5:30 am the earliest and 9:00 pm the latest. The buses also leave every two hours, which means you have to plan your trips carefully to avoid missing that check-in period.

UBE Express Schedules

From Araneta Center Bus Terminal

Dispatch times Estimated time of arrival
7:00 AM 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
11:00 AM 12:00 NN – 12:30 AM
1:00 PM 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
3:00 PM 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
5:00 PM 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
7:00 PM 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM
9:00 PM 10:30 PM – 11:00 PM

From NAIA Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4

Dispatch times Estimated time of arrival
5:30 AM 6:00 AM – 6:30 AM
6:30 AM 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
11:00 AM 12:00 NN – 12:30 AM
1:00 PM 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM
3:00 PM 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
5:00 PM 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM
7:00 PM 8:30 PM – 9:00 PM
9:00 PM 10:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Purple ways all around

On top of Araneta Center, UBE Express has four other routes that go to parts of Pasay, Manila, and Makati. If you need the ultimate P2P airport bus guide, we’ve got you covered here:

Airport terminals (to any route)

Terminal Operating Hours Interval between buses
Terminal 1 8:00 am to 11:00 pm 30 minutes
Terminal 2 5:00 am to 11:00 pm 30 minutes
Terminal 3 24 hours 30 minutes

Grand Prix Route (NAIA to Grand Prix Hotel/Victory Liner Pasay)

Operating hours:  24 hours, with a 30-minute bus interval

Designated stops (from the airport):

  • Kabayan Hotel
  • Grand Prix Hotel/Victory Liner Pasay

Makati Route

Operating hours: 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, with a two-hour bus interval

Designated stops (from the airport):

  • Parksquare, Ayala Center

Robinsons Route

Operating hours: 5:00 am to 11:00 pm, with a two-hour bus interval

Designated stops (from the airport):

  • Atrium/Jam Liner
  • Copacabana Apartment Hotel
  • Midas Hotel
  • Networld Hotel
  • Century Park
  • Hotel Jen
  • Diamond Hotel
  • Luneta Hotel
  • New World Hotel
  • Pan Pacific Hotel
  • Manila Maynor Hotel
  • Bayview Hotel
  • Manila Pavilion
  • Manila Hotel
  • Robinsons Place Manila
  • Intramuros

Entertainment City Route

Operating hours: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, with a one-hour bus interval

Designated stops (from the airport):

  • Go Hotel (Naia Road branch)
  • Solaire
  • Hotel 101
  • SMX Convention Center
  • SM Mall of Asia
  • Go Hotel (Ermita branch)

(Read: NAIA Terminal Reassignments Postponed Due To ‘Unforeseen Operational Constraints’)

Chapters and versus

Despite obvious advantages, how does a P2P airport bus stack against other modes of transportation?

To get an estimate cost of trips from Araneta Center to, say, NAIA Terminal 3, we used RideGuru’s fare simulator. Keep in mind that Grab’s charges according to news is currently at P40 with an additional metered fare of up to P14 per kilometer. This doesn’t factor in the hotly contested P2-per-minute travel charge that put the company in hot water a few months ago.

Based on RideGuru’s computations, hailing a GrabCar from Cubao to Terminal 3 on a regular fare will cost you around P279 for the trip via Edsa, which is considered the shortest route based on distance covered.

If the demand is high or the traffic is horrendous, the rates then get multiplied by their surge rate.

Last April, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered Grab to lower its surge cap to 1.5 times the normal fare. When the prices hit the surge cap, the P279 estimate can go up by more than P100.

According to RideGuru’s estimate, the rates will be around P387. That’s almost quadruple the P2P bus fare from Araneta Center to NAIA!

If you’re going to take public transportation, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) is the best way to get as close as possible to the airport.

From Araneta Center station of the MRT3 to the end of the line, you only have to spend P24 for the ride. From there, you can either take the jeep to Nichols/Terminal 3 for a low fare or a taxi, which will cost you almost P140 based on the new taxi fare pricing of P13.50 per kilometer and an additional P2 per minute.

The P100 fare of the UBE Express Araneta Center line is a significant help for passengers who need a quick, cheap, and convenient way to get to NAIA without resorting to TNVS.

While this is a welcome option, the long-term solution to transport people from the airport to the rest of the city is still an airport rail link. Let’s hope the Metro Manila Subway is not just a pipe dream and a project that will actually happen in the future.