By MB Online
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Sunday said jeepneys and UV Express units may be allowed to operate in Metro Manila should the number of public utility vehicles (PUVs) serving the public from June 1 to 21 is not enough.
“Kung hindi sufficient ang bus na ‘yan, ang next na titignan natin ay ‘yung mga modern jeepneys. Kapag hindi pa rin available ‘yang mga modern jeepneys na ‘yan, saka na lang tayo titingin kung may available na UV Express at lumang jeepneys,” Transport Assistant Secretary Mark De Leon said in an interview over DZBB.
“‘Yung mga lumang jeepneys kasi we are considering it as high-risk dahil wala silang mga tap card system, wala silang AFCS [Automatic Fare Collection System]. Napakahirap ng implementation ng public transportation sa mga ganyan at magiging delikado, napakadelikado ng ating public transportation. Baka maging transmission pa sila ng COVID kung saka-sakali,” he added.
DOTr earlier said there will be two phases to be executed for allowing the operation of the different modes of public transportation as Metro Manila shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday.
From June 1 to 21, the first phase of PUV resumption, trains and bus augmentation units, taxis, ride-hailing cars, shuttle services, point-to-point (P2P) buses, and bicycles will be allowed to operate at a limited capacity only.
DOTr said provincial buses are still barred from entering the capital region in Phase 1, while tricycles will be allowed subject to prior approval of the concerned local government unit.
Meanwhile, public utility buses, modern PUVs, and UV Express will be allowed back on the road for the second phase which will run from June 22 to 30, also with limited passenger capacity, the DOTr added.
De Leon added bus augmentation will mainly cater to the usual passengers of Metro Rail Transit Line 3.
“Ang bus augmentation na ‘yan ay magsasakay sa North Avenue and Quezon Avenue. Ang babaan niyan is Ayala and Taft. ‘Yun lang ang ating serbisyo for tomorrow for bus transport. Papayagan natin ‘yang bus augmentation na ‘yan,” he said.
“Ang bayad lang niyan is flat fare na P25 at hindi siya puwedeng magbaba-sakay lingid doon sa mga binanggit kong istasyon ng MRT,” he added.
With the resumption of PUV operations, DOTR reiterated safety protocols should be strictly observed by drivers and operators, as well as passengers, as part of the “new normal” in transportation.
The GCQ in Metro Manila will be in effect until June 15. (With a report from Alexandria San Juan)