By Marie Marticio
TACLOBAN City – – Twenty-five modern buses plying Samar routes were launched Wednesday pursuant to a memorandum circular issued by the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to open additional franchise units in Eastern Visayas.
LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III said 10 buses would be plying the Tacloban-Calbayog route at P357 per way operated by Metro Davao Shuttle, while the remaining 15 from Tacloban to Catbalogan City would be operated by Grand Tours.
The modern buses form part of the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) and are equipped with a global positioning system(GPS), automatic fare collection system, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, television, and a toilet.
He added that the said buses will not only provide comfort and convenience to the riding public but will also stop the proliferation of colorum vehicles.
“If we take the unregistered vehicles off the road, we will have a problem in providing public transport. This is the reason why in the long term, we need legitimate vehicles and routes that will be run by valid and competent operators,” he noted.
He clarified that small players under the Utility Vehicles (UV) Express may still join the Modernization Program, provided they consolidate, form a cooperative or corporation, and come in terms with the standard of the program.
He said they will put in a policy capping the UV Express, which originally should be the premium version of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) at a 60-km ceiling distance instead of taking the longer routes that are intended for buses.