FILE PHOTO: City buses plying on EDSA
MANILA, Philippines — Following the petition of other transport groups for a fare hike, city bus operators will also file a similar request from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)
Managing director of Samahang Transport Operator Pilipinas, Juliet de Jesus said they are now studying and computing the additional fare they will petition for before the LTFRB.
The city bus operators said that aside from the expected P2.80 increase in the prices of crude oil beginning January 16, they also have to prepare for more expenses related to the government’s modernization program for public utility buses.
These include the installation of CCTV cameras, wi-fi connection, global positioning system, speed limiter, and the upgrading of their engines to Euro-4 engine.
“We have a standing obligation to our supplier for our fuel, to our buses that are brand new. It will really affect the operator, we need to survive also,” De Jesus said.
It was in 2011 when the LTFRB last implemented a P1.00 fare increase for city buses.
The minimum fare for ordinary buses is currently at P10.00, while the minimum fare for air-conditioned ones is P12.00.
Even provincial bus operators are also planning to appeal for a fare increase due to the tax reform law.
Meanwhile, LTFRB board member Atty. Aileen Lizada explained the agency has to study first the fare increase petition of the transport groups to determine if their requested fare hikes are reasonable.
“If there is an increase, a petition filed for fare increase by PNTOA or any transport group for that matter, they need to justify why the board should grant a fare increase and what services will be delivered,” Atty. Lizada said.
City buses operators are expected to submit to the LTFRB their petition any day within the month. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue