A Poin-to-Point (P2P) bus commissioned by the Department of Transportation
MANILA, Philippines — There used to be 15 Metropolitan Rail Transit (MRT) trains operating the entire day. But now, only six to seven trains are able to serve the riding public.
This is why commuters have begun patronizing the once-ignored point-to-point (P2P) buses at the MRT North Avenue station.
At about nine in the morning on Friday, there were still several passengers who wanted to catch the last P2P bus trip.
“Kasi konti na lang yung bagon na umaandar na MRT, so yung pag-aantay ko nakapila dun, sakay na lang ako ng bus (There have been lesser train coaches that operate so, instead of spending a long time in line, I prefer to take the bus),” said Michael Cruz, a P2P passenger.
“Mas mabilis po kasi dito kaysa sa MRT, pipila ka pa, mas matagal yung pipila ka pa (This is faster than taking the MRT where you have to spend time waiting in line),” said Michelle Loi, another P2P regular.
“Based on the information we got, MRT passengers patronize our P2P buses because they are able to sit and it’s comfortable, and two, they get to their destination fast,” said Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) spokesperson Atty. Aileen Lizada
Based on the data from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), from February 1 to 22, the bus augmentation program was able to serve up to over 56,000 MRT passengers.
To date, there are only about 250,000 commuters who take the MRT trains daily.
This number is lower compared to that in 2017 which was at about 400,000 daily.
In February alone, there have been at least 11 incidents of MRT glitches.
The MRT management, meanwhile, assures that repair work among its trains has been underway as the spare parts that have been ordered by the DOTr have begun arriving.
The MRT management targets to have 15 trains operating in may after the conduct of a general maintenance.
The DOTR, on the other hand, said that several Japanese railway engineers will begin the review and audit on the entire MRT system, in line with the planned taking over Sumitomo as the new maintenance provided of the MRT.
The DOTr is also considering the P30 billion buy-out of the Metro Pacific investments corporation to improve the MRT system. — Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue
DOTr belies report of approved P12 minimum jeepney fare
The Department of Transportation has belied reports circulating on social media that the minimum jeepney fare is now P12.
A post by the Facebook page Philippinews Trend said that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has approved the P12 jeepney fare and will implement it starting November.
The DOTr refuted the claim and confirmed that the prevailing provisional fare for jeepneys is P9.00.
In a new post, Philippinews Trend apologized for the wrong information and explained that their FB account was allegedly hacked. They have since deleted the misleading article.
The DOTr reminds the public to be discerning about what you read online and to check official social media accounts instead for reliable information.
Poe warns DOTr of budget cut over PUV modernization issues
Senator Grace Poe via Facebook
Senate Committee on Public Services chairperson Senator Grace Poe has warned officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of a possible cut in next year’s budget if they fail to answer various concerns of jeepney drivers and operators regarding the public utility vehicle modernization program of the government.
“Kung hindi nila magagawa yan magkakaproblema sila pagdating ng kanilang budget. Nasa kapangyarihan ng Kongreso at Senado na gawin yan,” Poe said.
“Siyempre ayaw naman natin na basta ipitin dahil maraming apektado, pero kailangan muna nilang patunayan ang kanilang sarili na sa tamang paraan nila ginagasta ang pinapamahagi ng taumbayan.”
Among the issues that the senator wants to clarify is whether or not the P80,000 subsidy would be enough to allow the drivers and operators to comply with the program.
She also noted the slow-paced distribution of fuel vouchers and claimed that, to date, only 25 percent of the total population of jeepney drivers nationwide has received their vouchers.
Senator Poe was the guest of honor at Monday’s transport summit led by the transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON).
The event was attended by hundreds of jeepney drivers and operators who expressed their doubts and complaints anew against the PUV nmodernization program.
PISTON clarified that they support the proposed improvements in the public transportation sector, but not the current version of DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) wherein, he said, only big car manufacturers will benefit from it and not the jeepney drivers and commuters.
The group is grateful to Poe for understanding their concerns.
PISTON national president, George San Mateo said, “Kampante kami at natutuwa kami sa pahayag ni Senator Poe kasi yun naman talaga ang gusto namin mangyari – maimbestigahan ulit itong isyu ng pekeng modernization. Lalo na on the basis ng mga bagong sirkular na nilabas ng LTFRB.”
Piston is asking the Senate committee to investigate what they claim is a questionable provision under the omnibus franchising guidelines that forces the individual operators to purchase modern jeepney units.
The LTFRB on the other hand has been pushing for upgraded models of jeepney units to prevent road accidents. — Joan Nano
MMDA clears sidewalk along Col. Bonny Serrano avenue in QC
MMDA personnel dismantling structures that block the sidewalk
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Personnel of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) launched clearing operations along Santolan-Bonny Serrano Avenue in Quezon City Wednesday, May 16.
Authorities towed illegally parked vehicles, dismantled chain blocks, dog cages and structures encroaching on the sidewalks that were supposedly for pedestrians.
The operation was led by Task Force Bravo which was created amid the growing number of complaints over road blockages in the area that cause traffic congestion. – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue