In Metro Manila, where traffic has been a chronic issue, it is getting increasingly difficult to go anywhere without sacrificing so much time or comfort. The same is true for airport transfers. That’s why ride-sharing apps have enjoyed phenomenal success here in this city. The general public appreciates any additional form of transportation that could give us a little bit of comfort even at a higher price.

For travelers going into and out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), there aren’t that many options available other than taxi, which can still be stressful, expensive, and prone to scams. Hence, the arrival of UBE EXPRESS has been a welcome relief.

UBE Express is the first premium point-to-point bus to operate in Metro Manila. It’s owned and run by Airfreight 2100 Inc, the company behind AIR21. The service is still in its toddler years, but it has been growing fast, testament to the amount of public support it receives. In its first years, it ferries passengers from NAIA to Manila, Makati, and Pasay. This year, it has expanded to include Cubao, Alabang, and as far south as Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

UBE Express takes pride in its fleet of new top-line air-conditioned buses that are all equipped with free wi-fi, GPS, and CCTV for additional safety. As a point-to-point service, it skips the countless stops that regular public buses wait, thereby cutting the travel time short. It’s also spacious, with adequate compartments for luggage, and PWD-friendly, with low-floor entry and wheelchair ramps.

UBE Express Pickup and Drop Off Points

  • NAIA Terminal 1: Arrival area
  • NAIA Terminal 2: Arrival area, Bay 17
  • NAIA Terminal 3: Arrival area, Bay 10 Arrival area
  • NAIA Terminal 4: Drop-off only

Note that the bus will stop NOT in the above order. As the biggest and busiest, Terminal 3 is often the first and last stop. They then pass by the other terminals very quickly. Terminal 4 is a drop off stop only. If you’re coming from Terminal 4, you must first make your way to Terminal 3.

Depending on the route, here are the other drop off points.

  • Cubao: Araneta Center P2P lounge (located at Araneta Center Bus Station behind Shopwise)
  • Origas: Robinsons Galleria Ortigas (driveway EDSA side, behind EDSA Shrine)
  • Manila: Robinsons Manila (near Pedro Gil Entrance)
  • Makati: Park Square Terminal (next to Dusit Thani Hotel Manila)
  • Pasay: SM Mall of Asia
  • Pasay: Grand Prix/Victory Liner Bus Terminal
  • Alabang: Alabang Town Center and South Park Bus Station
  • Sta Rosa: Solenad, Nuvali; Robinsons Tagapo; Balibago Complex

In this post, we’ll be focusing on Cubao and Ortigas routes only.


NAIA to ARANETA CENTER CUBAO

Pick-up and Drop-off point: Araneta Center P2P lounge (located at Araneta Center Bus Station behind Shopwise)

Fare: P100

Travel time is 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. Journey can be pretty fast, around 40 minutes, in the early morning. But as soon as the sun rises and the rush hour kicks in, the traffic can drag the travel time to up to 2 hours.

I’m a bit confused with the schedule because there is a difference between what Araneta Center has published on their online channels and what UBE Express displays at NAIA. The difference isn’t much so it hardly matters, but I’ll just share with you both versions.

Here’s the Araneta Center version.

Artwork courtesy of Araneta Center FB page

Below are the dispatch times from NAIA Terminal 3 Bay 10. I think this is the more updated schedule. This is for NAIA-to-Cubao route. I don’t have the latest timetable for Cubao-to-NAIA.

  • 4:30 am
  • 5:30 am
  • 7:00 am
  • 9:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • 1:00 pm
  • 3:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm
  • 7:00 pm
  • 9:00 pm
  • 11:00 pm

NAIA to ROBINSONS GALLERIA ORTIGAS

Pick-up and Drop-off point: Robinsons Galleria Ortigas, at the driveway on EDSA side, behind EDSA Shrine

Fare: P70

Travel time is between 45 and 90 minutes, again, depending on traffic conditions. Make it a point to give at least 2 hours of allowance to be safe.

There is also some discrepancy between what’s published on the Robinsons Galleria Facebook page and what’s listed on the tarpaulin at NAIA. Here’s what’s on their FB page.

Image courtesy of Robinsons Galleria FB page

Here’s what’s on display at NAIA Terminal 3. I believe this is the more updated version. This is the NAIA-Robinsons Galleria route. I don’t have the latest timetable for the other way around.

  • 6:00 am
  • 7:30 am
  • 9:00 am
  • 11:00 am
  • 1:00 pm
  • 3:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm
  • 7:00 pm
  • 9:00 pm

Important Reminders

  • Allow some lead time, especially if you have a flight to catch. This is Metro Manila. Every schedule is tentative and you’ll never know what’s going to happen on the road. It’s always best to leave your house 4-5 hours before the flight to be sure. Be at the airport at least 2 hours before a domestic flight or 3 hours for international.
  • Do not try to alight other than the designated stops. These buses WILL NOT stop to pick up or drop off passengers elsewhere.
  • Don’t expect the buses to arrive or leave on time. There are many factors affecting it. Traffic conditions make it hard to stick to the timetable. TripAdvisor also has records of complaints about long waits and deviation from the schedule. They also seem to not follow the schedule strictly.
  • Schedule may change without prior notice. They seem to make changes to the schedule every now and then but don’t update their online channels. If you want to be sure, call their office directly.
  • This post was last updated in November 2018. Always contact UBE Express before your trip or download their Android app to get their latest timetable. The app is down as of this writing though.

This post is a work in progress. We’ll be updating this as we get more information. If you have something to add to this post, let us know in the comments section below.



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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
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