According to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, the agency is now finalizing the guidelines that will allow UV Express to resume operations before the end of June following the full deployment of modernized public utility jeepneys (PUJs).
Delgra added that the technical working group (TWG) is thoroughly studying the proposed measures that the operators and drivers of UV express should abide by under the government-imposed general community quarantine (GCQ).
“We are exhausting all efforts to balance our mandate in transportation with our responsibility of helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. That is why we are observing a gradual and calculated approach for the resumption of public transportation particularly in areas under GCQ,” Delgra said.
The LTFRB also assured that it is working double time to implement the second phase of the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila which includes UV Express.
The first phase which was implemented from June 1 to 21, allowed the resumption of public transportation in GCQ areas namely the rail transport, point-to-point (P2P) bus service, city buses, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), shuttle services, tricycles, and bicycles.
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), through Memorandum Circular 2020-057, ordered all automated fare collection system (AFCS) providers to remove card fees for stored-value cards used in public utility vehicles (PUVs).
“The Board hereby directs all Public Utility operators and/or Automatic Fare Collection Systems (AFCS) to remove any charges or fees imposed for the purchase/use of their cards on top of the fare load,” the memorandum said covering all buses, modern jeepneys and taxis among others.
The measure was in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call following complaints from passengers of the EDSA Busway System over ‘expensive’ Beep cards at P80.00.
Failure to comply with the directive would incur them fines or suspension.
“Failure of the concerned operator and/or provider to comply with this issuance shall cause for the immediate suspension of the automatic fare collection system, aside from the penalties to be imposed pursuant to existing issuances of this Board against the operators concern,” the memorandum stressed.
Beep card operator AF Payments Incorporated said it has not received a copy of the memorandum just yet and discussions are still ongoing on the matter.
But at Monumento station in Caloocan, purchase of Beep cards has been suspended and only the fare loading service is allowed.
The agency will have the Memorandum Circular printed and published in major newspapers and the directive will be in effect starting October 9.
Still, the ‘No Beep card, No Ride’ policy remains suspended at EDSA Busway system. MNP (with details from Joan Nano)
1. San Fernando, Pampanga – Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
2. Batangas City, Batangas – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx)
3. Lemery, Batangas – PITx
4. Lipa City, Batangas – PITx
5. Nasugbu, Batangas – PITx
6. Indang, Cavite – PITx
7. Mendez, Cavite – PITx
8. Tagaytay City, Cavite – PITx
9. Ternate, Cavite – PITx
10. Calamba City, Laguna – PITx
11. Siniloan, Laguna – PITx
12. Sta. Cruz, Laguna – PITx
These are provinces that allow the entry of residents from other provinces.
The LTFRB noted, however, that it is the responsibility of the local government units (LGU) to control the influx of passengers in their respective areas.
The LGUs have the authority to suspend or limit the number of trips in the event of a surge in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in their places.
“I hope hindi mangyayari na tataas ang cases ng COVID and for that matter they might recommend the reduction or the suspension of public transport in their respective jurisdictions. That is what we are carefully managing because we are not just moving people but we are moving people safely,” noted LTFRB chief Atty. Martin Delgra.
Operators of provincial buses will be allowed to have a QR Code which must be printed and posted in every PUB unit.
The QR Code may be downloaded from the LTFRB’s official website.
Likewise, operators must ensure that each of their PUBs is equipped with a global navigation satellite system to monitor the movement of the PUBs.
Also, drivers may only load and unload passengers at designated stopover points and terminals.
They must wear masks and face shields at all times and must have disinfecting agents on board including alcohol and sanitizer.
Social distancing must be strictly imposed on the bus during the trip.
Passengers, meanwhile, need to provide the following items before they can be allowed to board the PUBs:
1. A travel authority/pass from the Philippine National Police (PNP)
2. A valid ID that bears the passenger’s address or place of origin, age, and place of work or school;
3. A written consent for voluntary COVID-19 testing or quarantine procedure at the terminal of origin and/or the terminal of destination in case required by the LGU;
4. Other documents as required by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the LGU.
Eating, drinking and talking are not allowed inside the PUB, the LTFRB said.
As for the ticket, passengers must secure a ticket two days before or earlier than the desired day of the trip through the bus firm’s online facility or at the main terminal.
However, buying tickets on the day of the trip is not allowed unless in emergency cases.
The LTFRB advises all PUB operators and drivers to adhere to the agency’s policy otherwise, they will be sanctioned or face revocation of certifications. MNP (with details from Joan Nano)
Under the guidelines set by LTFRB through Memorandum Circular No. 2020-025, all routes are strictly terminal-to-terminal only, meaning, drivers are not allowed to pick up or drop off passengers along the way.
UV Express units are not allowed on EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue except to cross.
Fare rate shall remain at P2 per kilometer, according to the memorandum. and that no fare adjustment shall be applied unless approved by the agency.
Additionally, the following are salient provisions stated in the guidelines in relation to health protocols imposed by the national government in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic:
Operators must regularly examine a driver’s fitness to work, checking their body temperature and screening for symptoms of COVID-19.
Wearing of masks and gloves at all times is mandatory to all drivers and conductors.
Strictly “No Face Mask, No Ride” for commuters.
Exact fare shall be paid prior to boarding the PUV or operators/drivers may devise any fare collection system such as use of a fare drop-off to minimize/prevent transmittal of COVID-19.
Strictly two (2) passengers per row with passengers seated one seat apart.
Impermeable barriers must be installed to seal off the driver’s compartment and between rows of seats that are less than one (1) meter apart.
The guidelines for UV Express operations are in line with the “gradual, calibrated and calculated approach” of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ).
According to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, failure to comply with the guidelines may warrant the imposition of fines and suspension or cancellation of their franchise.
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