The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is implementing a "partial, calibrated, and gradual approach" in the resumption of public transportation since the enforcement of a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) even as it defended its proposal to reduce distancing in public transport.
In a statement, Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Libiran said that other policies are being implemented by the Department such as the mandatory use of shuttle services and the gradual opening of additional routes for public utility vehicles (PUVs), particularly traditional jeepneys.
"Reducing physical distancing in public transport was proposed alongside other proposals. Hindi ibig sabihin na iyan lang ang ginagawa at iyan lang ang gagawin. Kaya nga nandyan yung mandatory use of shuttle services, service contracting, at pagdaragdag ng ruta at units ng traditional PUJs (public utility jeepneys)," Libiran said.
"When GCQ started on June 1, please note that there were zero jeepney routes and units allowed to operate. However, now, as we speak, 206 traditional PUJ routes have already been opened, which is equivalent to 17,372 units in Metro Manila alone," she added.
Based on the data provided by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), it showed that the agency has already opened 378 routes for PUVs servicing a total of 24,295 units including public utility buses (PUBs), point-to-point buses, UV Express, and modern and traditional jeepneys.
Aside from this, almost 45,000 units of taxi and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) have also been authorized by the Board since the government allowed the resumption of public transport operations.
Here are the total number of PUV routes and units that have been allowed by the LTFRB to operate in the capital region since June this year:
• Traditional PUJ - 206 routes; 17,372 authorized units
• Modern PUJ - 45 routes; 786 authorized units
• PUB - 34 routes; 3,854 authorized units
• Point-to-point bus - 34 routes; 387 authorized units
• UV Express - 59 routes; 1,905 authorized units
• Taxi - 20,891 authorized units
• TNVS - 23,968 authorized units
The DOTr also continues to implement its free ride for health workers program to ferry medical frontliners in Mega Manila with 20 routes, and in other regions.
The DOTr, as well as the LTFRB, will also lead the implementation of service contracting of PUVs following the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
The new policy aims to subsidize public transport operations, incentivize PUV operators to return, serve commuters, and restore the livelihood of displaced transport workers, among others.
Based on the proposed service contracting scheme, the government will be paying operators and drivers of public transportation units based on vehicle-kilometers traveled and specific performance indicators.