JB Line Bicol Express


While driving in Tambo, Paranaque, I encountered a jeepney Bicol Express painted in blue. I found it strange. I grew up riding the Bicol Express – JB Line and its livery is yellow, green and red.

Found this jeep in Tambo and reminded me of the original JB Line Bicol Express. Contrary to the color of this jeep, the original Bicol Express is painted on yellow, green and red. I assume that the owner of this jeepney is a Bicolano.

Found this jeep in Tambo and reminded me of the original JB Line Bicol Express. Contrary to the color of this jeep, the original Bicol Express is painted on yellow, green and red. I assume that the owner of this jeepney is a Bicolano.

I grew up listening to both exciting and scary stories how the drivers would make a roller coaster ride from these buses. Somewhat, it was also infamous for its vehicular accidents and one would quip, paspasero pano; or if it’s a near miss, one would say, maurag talaga an Bicol Express!

I could still remember that it introduced the first bus in Sorsogon with a press button engine start and air suspension. If you rode the buses with stiff suspension, riding the ones with air suspension would give you a noticeable experience. I think it was either a Mercedes or a Hino brand back then.

For airconditioned bus lines, it was competing with Sarkies Tours and Pantranco/Philtranco.

Luckily, I didn’t have any accidents riding the Bicol Express. I did have some share of delayed trips due to flat tires, but that was it.

Found this image in the net. I can't remember any Bicol Express bus only having a JB logo on its side - it normally has the Bicol Express tag line after it. Note: The photo was downloaded from the net but couldn't find the original owner.

Found this image in the net. I can’t remember any Bicol Express bus only having a JB logo on its side – it normally has the Bicol Express tag line after it. Note: The photo was downloaded from the net but couldn’t find the original owner.

I remember its biggest bus station in Pasay; by the time we started taking the bus from the said terminal to Sorsogon, it was recently renovated. It had TV for waiting passengers and you could smell the stench of the oil and the smoke from the idle buses. I know Gubat was the main depot for the bus line (isn’t family of Oga came from Gubat?).

JB Line (Bicol Express) busses parked on its Pasay terminal, along Tramo going to Sales Road. This is where I would take my ride back to Sorsogon during my college days.

JB Line (Bicol Express) busses parked on its Pasay terminal, along Tramo going to Sales Road. This is where I would take my ride back to Sorsogon during my college days.

The original JB Line terminal in the former town of Sorsogon was now the 2nd branch of Mercury Drug along Magsaysay Street, beside the Hatol establishment. They also had trips to Bulan, but didn’t have a chance to try it.

In the late 90s, its service started to deteriorate. By year 2000, I can’t remember if it was still operating its bus. I know that its service dwindled to jeepneys and just faded away.

I can still remember being handed out with this ticket. Normally, you get a piece of paper from the ticketing booth after paying for it. Then in the bus, they will issue a ticket like this. Punched out tiny pieces of paper can be seen littering floor, especially for buses between nearby towns.

I can still remember being handed out with this ticket. Normally, you get a piece of paper from the ticketing booth after paying for it. Then in the bus, they will issue a ticket like this. Punched out tiny pieces of paper can be seen littering floor, especially for buses between nearby towns.

This entry was posted in History, Transportation and Communication and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to JB Line Bicol Express

  1. RENE LEMUEL I. OCHENTA says:

    KONTA MAG GANA AKO SA LOTTO MABAKAL NGAN MAASEMBLE AKO SAN BUS MABAKAL AKO LIWAT SAN PRANGKISA SAN JB LINE NIRA OGA. IBYAHE KO PA MANILA-GUBAT IGARAHE KO SA MAROK BAROK. BASI MAGPADAGUS AN SERBISYO SAN JB LINE SA MGA POBRE.

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