With more industries allowed to operate in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine, regulators are eyeing the opening of additional public transport routes next month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said.
In a virtual briefing, LTFRB National Capital Region Director Zona Tamayo said the agency will come up with more routes for PUVs, including buses, taxis, UV Express, and modern and traditional jeepneys, in Metro Manila to meet the need of commuters.
“We will be coming up, perhaps, with more routes all across mode of public transport to be opened every week, or at least several in a week para matugunan ang pangangailangan sa (to meet the need in) public trans portation on a select and calibrated basis,” Tamayo said.
Tamayo said the opening of the routes will be gradual and will be done by the agency in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the InterAgency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
“Hindi natin bibiglain ang pagbukas ng mga ruta. Kapag masyado nang marami ang mga ruta, marami na rin ang mga tao na lumalabas sa daan. ‘Yung strict monitoring on the ground of our health protocols is still our priority (We will not open all routes in one sitting. When there are too many routes, there will also be a lot of people that will be out on the road. The strict monitoring on the ground of our health protocols is still our priority),” she added.
“At the moment, only 10 percent of all public transport are allowed to resume operations, but the directive from the different agencies and local government units is to increase transport in different areas,” Tamayo said.
A total of 1,943 additional traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) have been allowed by the LTFRB to operate in 17 routes in Metro Manila beginning July 29.
The LTFRB had earlier allowed 6,002 jeepneys to ply 49 routes in Metro Manila last July 3.
As of Wednesday, Tamayo said 212 PUV routes have been opened – 31 bus routes, 33 P2P bus routes and counting, 47 UV Express routes, 35 modern PUJ routes, and 66 traditional PUJ routes.
The LTFRB official added that they are not focused on apprehending noncompliant PUV operators and drivers but continues to remind them to strictly follow health protocols to further prevent the spread of the virus.