Additional routes for over 500 traditional jeepneys in Metro Manila are set to be opened by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board beginning Friday, Oct. 30, to serve more commuters amid restrictions in public transport.
In Memorandum Circular 2020-064 released Wednesday, the LTFRB approved to open four more routes in the Nationa Capital Region for 507 traditional public utility jeepney units, bringing the number of traditional PUJ routes approved by the LTFRB to 336, covering 29,227 units since the enforcement of a general community quarantine in the NCR on June 1.
Routes opening Friday to service the riding public are:
2. Parang-Stop & Shop via Aurora Blvd.
3. Recto-SSS Village via Aurora Blvd., Espana Blvd.
According to the LTFRB, authorized traditional PUJs will be allowed to operate even without a special permit provided that they are roadworthy and have a valid Personal Passenger Insurance Policy.
In place of a special permit, the LTFRB said that operators and drivers will be required to obtain a unique QR code to be printed and displayed in the corresponding unit.
The QR code, a special barcode that can be downloaded from the LTFRB website starting Sunday, will prove that their vehicles were among the units permitted to take passengers on the approved routes across the metropolis.
The agency added that the fare in PUJs remains at P9 for the first four kilometers and P1.50 for succeeding kilometers and no fare adjustment shall be applied unless approved by the Board.
Drivers, operators, and passengers were also reminded to strictly observe the following “seven commandments” of public health measures in transportation proposed by medical experts.
1. Wear face masks and face shields.
2. No talking and making telephone calls.
3. No eating.
4. Keep PUVs well-ventilated.
5. Conduct frequent disinfection.
6. No passengers with COVID-19 symptoms are to be allowed inside public transportation.
7. Observe appropriate physical distancing.
The LTFRB warned that failure to comply with the guidelines will incur penalties such as imposition of fines or cancellation or suspension of the Certificate of Public Convenience or Provisional Authority of the unit.
The LTFRB has so far approved more than 85,000 units of various PUVs since the enforcement of GCQ which allowed public transport to return on the roads after months of hard lockdown — 865 modern PUJs to ply 48 routes; 4,447 public utility buses in 34 routes; 305 provincial buses in 14 routes; 387 point-to-point buses in 34 routes.
The transport regulatory body also approved a total of 20,964 taxi and 25,068 Transport Network Vehicles Services units to ferry passengers in the NCR.