Here’s some good news for embattled public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it will allow some 4,400 additional units of PUVs on roads next week to ferry essential commuters amid the reported proliferation of “colorum (out of line)” transport vehicles.
LTFRB National Capital Region (NCR) Director Zona M. Tamayo said the agency is planning to reopen some 250 routes nationwide, which would in turn accommodate the PUV units including jeepneys and provincial buses going to and from Metro Manila.
However, Tamayo said that the additional provincial buses entering the capital region would still be subject to the approval and requirements of the concerned local government units (LGUs).
“Sa susunod na linggo ay asahan ninyo po na dadami pa ang mga ruta na papayagang bumiyahe particular na dito sa Metro Manila (Expect next week the opening of additional routes for PUVs particularly here in Metro Manila),” she assured.
Tamayo added that the agency is in constant coordination with its regional offices as well as local officials across the country for the possible resumption of PUV operations in their areas.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) raised concerns over colorum transportation services earlier this week after a video of the clandestine operations went viral.
The agency called it a vector for the transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since minimum health standards aren’t observed by its patrons.
In a virtual briefing with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Road Sector officials on Thursday, April 8, Tamayo reported that 76 percent of public transportation in Metro Manila have already been allowed to resume operations as of March 2021.
Based on the data from the DOTr, 745 routes covering a total of 53,441 public transport units have been allowed to ply Metro Manila roads since public transportation resumed in June 2020.
These units include 4,500 city buses on 35 routes; 404 point-to-point (P2P) buses on 35 routes; 950 modernized jeepneys on 50 routes; 37,246 traditional jeepneys on 414 routes; 55 modernized UV Express units on three routes; 7,347 traditional UV Express units on 128 routes; 2,685 provincial buses on 73 routes; and 204 provincial P2P buses on seven routes.
Aside from route-based modes of transportation, Tamayo said the total figures also include taxis, transport network vehicle service, shuttle service, and trucks for hire.
The LTFRB official reminded PUV drivers, operators and the riding public to strictly observe minimum health protocols aboard PUVs in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.