The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed more than 4,800 traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs) to ply the additional routes recently opened to ferry more commuters amid the reduced capacity in public transport.
Under LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2020-058 released last week, a total of 4,820 traditional jeepneys have been authorized to operate in 44 Metro Manila routes.
This brings the total number of traditional PUJ routes approved by the LTFRB to 302, covering 27,016 units since the enforcement of a general community quarantine in the National Capital Region on June 1.
The LTFRB said that it continued to assess more routes to be opened to accommodate more passengers as many workers continue to go back on the road as the economy reopens under a more relaxed community quarantine.
The following routes were added by the agency based on the latest memorandum:
1. Bagong Silang – SM Fairview via Maligaya
2. Bagong Silang Kaliwa – Robinson Fairview Zabarte
3. Balintawak – Camarin via Susano
4. Balintawak – Lagro via Novaliches
5. Balintawak -Novaliches via Quirino Highway
6. Kiko Camarin – SM Fairview via Maligaya Park
7. Malinta – Malolos, Bulacan
8. Aurora/Lauan – Quezon Memorial Circle
9. Angono – Araneta Cubao
10. Binangonan, Rizal – Marcos Highway
11. Buso-Buso – Marikina
12. Cubao, Quezon City – Angono
13. Edsa Shaw Blvd. – Morong
14. Edsa Shaw Blvd. – Tanay 15. Marikina – Pinugay
16. Arroceros – Project 7 via España
17. Baclaran – Blumentritt via L. Guinto, Sta. Cruz
18. Baclaran – Blumentritt via L. Guinto, Quiapo
19. Baclaran – P. Campa via L. Guinto
20. Balintawak – Blumentritt via A. Bonifacio
21. Balut – Divisoria
22. Cubao – Remedios via Quiapo L. Guinto
23. Dagat-Dagatan – Divisoria Ilaya via Lapu-Lapu Ave.
24. Dapitan – Delos Reyes/P. Campa via Dimasalang
25. Divisoria – Pier South via Delpan
26. Edsa/Shaw Central – Kalentong/JRC
27. Frisco – Vito Cruz via Mabini, Quiapo
28. Malanday – Pier South via McArthur Highway
29. Malanday – Recto via F. Huertas, Oroquieta
30. Malanday – Sta. Cruz via Huertas, Oroquieta
31. Cubao (Mercury) – Roces/Super Palengke
32. Alabang – FT1 via South Super Highway
33. Baclaran – Moonwalk via Quirino
34. Baclaran – Nichols via CAA
35. Baclaran – Zapote (Las Piñas)
36. BF Homes Subd. – Ikot via Vinmrt (Sucat)Term
37. Brgy. Ayala/Alabang – Alabang Mkt and Vice Versa
38. Alabang – Balibago
39. Alabang – Bitian, Laguna
40. Alabang – Carmona
41. Alabang – GMA
42. Alabang – Langgam, San Pedro
43. Pacita Complex – Sucat, Parañaque
44. Talon – Molino Bayan
Based on the data from the LTFRB, the Board has so far approved more than 80,000 units of various public utility vehicles since the implementation of the GCQ.
This includes the 845 modern PUJs to ply 48 routes, 4,016 public utility buses in 34 routes, 387 pointto-point buses in 34 routes, and 3,263 UV Express units in 76 routes.
The transport regulatory body also approved a total of 20,927 taxi and 24,356 Transport Network Vehicles Services (TNVS) units to ferry passengers in the capital region.
The LTFRB had earlier opened 12 routes for provincial buses to service 286 units, as well as two routes for modern UV Express covering 40 units.
As more PUV routes are opened, the government has agreed to implement a one-seat apart rule in public transportation, effectively scrapping the one-meter distance in line with further reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other recommendations of the economic team to gradually expand operational capacity of businesses, allow more people to leave their homes, and shorten curfew hours in “priority areas” have also been approved during President Duterte’s meeting with the Cabinet Monday.
“Tumutok ang meeting kung paano mabuhay muli ang eonomiya dahil sa COVID-19 at kahapon po inaprubahan ng Gabinete ang lahat ng rekomendasyon ng economic cluster (The meeting focused on how to revive the economy due to the COVID-19 and the Cabinet approved all the recommendations made by the economic cluster),” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing Tuesday.
Among the Cabinet economic cluster’s recommendations is to open a sufficient number of safe public transportation following expert’s guidance on minimum health standards, according to Roque.
“Inapubrahan ng Gabinete na sa pambuklikong transportasyon oneseat apart na po ang distansya (The Cabinet approved a distance of oneseat apart in public transportation),” he said.
For public transportation, Roque explained that it would begin with one seat apart and gradually increase capacity or allow seating together with plastic barrier or use of UV light.
The government previously implemented a one-meter distance between passengers in public vehicles to avoid the coronavirus infection.
It originally wanted to impose a 0.75 meter distancing rule to allow more people to reach their workplaces but drew criticisms from health advocates due to potential transmission of the illness.
Also approved by the Cabinet is the proposed expansion of the rail capacity to 30 to 50 percent, expansion of provincial buses, motorcycle taxi, shuttle and TVNS, and accelerated use of service contracting to expand bus and jeep.
Roque said the seven commandments or health measures must be strictly enforced when using public transportation.
These are wearing of face masks , wearing of face shields, no talking and no eating, adequate ventilation, frequent and proper disinfection, no symptomatic passengers, and appropriate physical distancing. (With a report from Genalyn Kabiling)