LTFRB mulls opening more jeepney routes as soon as MECQ is downgraded to GCQ

More routes for public utility vehicles will be opened as soon as the National Capital Region and neighboring localities revert to General Community Quarantine, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has disclosed.

Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez said this commitment was made by the LTFRB during a recent virtual meeting with the House Committee on Metro Manila Development which he chairs.

Lopez, who presided over the meeting, said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III vowed to heed the call of the House panel to allow more drivers of jeepneys and other PUV to return to work as soon as the MECQ is downgraded to GCQ.

Delgra also committed to submit LTFRB’s comprehensive PUV route rationalization plan and timeline to the panel by August 14.

“Let us make sure that as we approach and enter GCQ, and on day one itself, our mass public transportation hits the ground running.  And we expect each day after that to be better and more responsive as we approach the road to normalcy,” said Lopez.

The House Committee on Metro Manila earlier proposed to increase all modes of public transportation by at least 30% and at least 10% thereafter every week.

Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) co-Chair Karlo Nograles has endorsed the proposal to the IATF and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

 “We have received instructions from IATF to increase the number of units and… the basic strategies that we have, as mentioned earlier, we’re going to open up one batch of routes every week and that is the one that we’re going to submit on Friday,” Delgra said during the meeting.

“We actually started this three weeks ago, whereby every week naglalabas tayo ng bagong ruta covering hundreds if not thousands of units. We will continue to do that so we will be able to meet the target,” he added.

Lopez said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is fully supportive of the proposal.

Rep. Lopez welcomed Delgra and Tugade’s positive response to their proposition, stressing that an efficient mass public transportation system would be vital for a “prosperous new normal where our countrymen can hope for a better life for their families.”

“We see no more reason why we can’t enforce this, Asec. Martin, dahil Congress is with you, IATF is with you, DOTr is with you. So now, the ball is in the hands of LTFRB,” Lopez said.