More than 170,000 essential workers have so far benefitted from the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) free ride program on the first day of its nationwide resumption on Monday, Sept. 13.
The DOTr said a total of 170,345 health workers, medical frontliners, and other authorized persons outside of residence or APOR have availed of the free ride under the second phase of its Service Contracting Program.
The program, which was suspended last July 1 after the Bayanihan 2 expired, aims to aid affected public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers in their everyday operational expenses amid restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic.
It has been extended and now being implemented under the 2021 General Appropriations Act with a P3 billion budget allotted for PUV operators until December 2021.
According to the DOTr, the implementation of the Service Contracting Program Phase 2 has also been expanded and now covers other regions across the country aside from Metro Manila.
Here are the routes offering free rides for APORs per regions:
National Capital Region
1) Alabang – Zapote
2) Baclaran – NAIA Baltao
3) Buendia – PITX
4) Cubao (Diamond) – Roces (PANTRANCO)
5) Cubao Rosario – Sta. Lucia
6) EDSA Busway
7) Gasak – Divisoria
8 ) Gasak – Recto
9) Lagro – QMC
10) Munoz – Quiapo
11) Nichols – MOA
12) Nichols – Vito Cruz
13) Novaliches – Malinta via Paso De Blas & Vice Versa
14) Parang Marikina – Cubao
15) Pasig Palengke to Bagumbayan via San Joaquin
16) QMC Loop
17) Quezon Avenue – 5th Avenue LRT
1) Dagupan City – Bambang
2) Urdaneta – Tayug via Asingan
3) Vigan – Sinait
1) Ilagan – Cauayan
1) Cagayan De Oro City – Kapatagan & Vice Versa
2) Cagayan De Oro City – San Fernando
The DOTr said more routes will be opened in other regions soon to offer free rides for essential workers and provide additional income for PUV drivers amid the pandemic.
Under the program, the government through the DOTr and the LTFRB will provide a weekly payout to PUV operators and drivers based on kilometers and trips on top of a one-time incentive of P5,000 per unit.
Meanwhile, the DOTr reminded anew drivers and operators, as well as passengers, to strictly enforce and follow the minimum health standards while inside the vehicle.