MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has identified 7 routes where passengers get stranded because of unavailable public utility jeepneys (PUJ).
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said this is a result of the inter-agency council on traffic operation against dilapidated and smoke belching PUJs.
LTFRB adds that drivers may have gotten scared of getting caught, having their vehicles impounded and having them meted out with penalties.
This prompted the agency to ask bus operators to help them address the need for mass transportation in the said areas.
“We cannot wait while jeepneys are getting fixed. In the meantime. What will happen to the passengers,” LTFRB Board Member Atty. Aileen Lizada said.
The LTFRB will give special permits to buses to traverse these routes for 3 months.
The LTFRB will first deploy in buses in Commonwealth to Trinoma route, Commonwealth to Cubao route, Marcos highway to SM Masinag to Cubao and EDSA Shaw to Stop and Shop in Manila.
Fare for ordinary buses will be P10, while fare for air-con buses will be P12.
The buses will be deployed during peak hours from 5 to 9 in the morning and from 4 to 7 in the evening.
To date, the LTFRB is still determining other routes that will be experiencing the same problem.
Jeepney operators, on the other hand, believe that this move signals the beginning of the phasing out of PUJ’s.
“It’s very clear elimination effort. It’s very clear PUJ’s are getting all the way out on the road,” Stop and Go Coalition President Jun Magno said.
Magno also laments that a continuing apprehension of jeepneys will result in bigger problems.
“Many stranded [passengers] and [the government] cannot supply [the demand],” Magno said.
LTFBR stresses that the augmentation of buses does not mean they will phase out jeepney units.
The government maintains that they aim only to eliminate worn out models and smoke-belching jeepneys and retain the ones that are safe for public use. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue