Ride options available as LRT Line 2 operations remain suspended

Marje Pelayo   •   October 7, 2019   •   612

MANILA, Philippines – The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has advised commuters of alternative transport vehicles that will be plying the Santolan-Legarda route on Monday (October 7).

This is while LRT Line 2 train service remains suspended due to a fire that severely damaged two rectifier substations on Thursday (October 3).

As of Monday, the LRTA has deployed 10 point-to-point PUVs in designated loading and unloading bays in front of the LRT Santolan station and underneath the Araneta Center Cubao Station in Aurora Boulevard to ferry passengers throughout the duration of train service suspension.

They will be available from 5 AM to 10:30 PM and the fares will be from P12 to P15— a comparable amount to the train fare for a similar route.

The buses will make stops at Anonas and Katipunan stations, according to LRTA, to cater commuters in said areas.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), meanwhile, along with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), will provide free rides to passengers from Santolan to Cubao and back from 7:00AM to 7:00PM daily.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), likewise, has issued special permits to buses to service affected passengers taking Santolan-Cubao route.

These buses include Airfeight Express Bus, Armi Josh Bus, Corimba Bus, Quiapo Bus & Earth Star Express Inc and RRCG Transport.

On Sunday (October 6), LRTA Administrator Reynaldo Berroya appealed for the public’s understanding as they couldn’t resume train operations just yet “due to the complexity of the problem.”

“We cannot compromise the safety of everyone so we need to thoroughly check the integrity and stability of LRT 2 structures and equipment before we resume operations,” Berroya said.  

The LRTA assured that LRT2 operations would resume once all problems have been fixed in the train’s signaling, power and telecommunication systems.

It clarified, however, that only the Cubao to Recto stations would resume operations while Santolan to Anonas route would remain closed for the next nine months.

DOTr defends jeepney modernization program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has defended the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) Modernzation Program, saying it does not favor the rich but the commuters.

In a social media post, the DOTr said the PUV Modernization Program will benefit the drivers as they would have a salary with fixed working hours, as well as benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) . The program also aims to remove the ‘boundary system’, and lessen air pollution.

“Sa PUV Modernization, hindi lang makina, kalidad, o disenyo ng jeep ang binabago. Binabago dito ang nakagawiang sistema ng mga jeepney drivers at commuters, (The PUV Modernization will not just change the quality, design, and the machine of jeepneys. It will also change the old system of drivers and commuters),” the post read.

The DOTr said the government already gave jeepney operators a three-year transition period for them to have a proper fleet management. The department also reiterated that as long as the traditional jeepney passes the road worthiness standards, it will still be allowed to operate.

“Kahit hindi bago o traditional jeepney pa iyan, kung papasa naman sa road worthiness standards, papayagan pa rin po iyang tumakbo, (Even if it is a traditional jeepney, it will be allowed to operated if it passes the road worthiness standards),” the department said. AAC

DILG to offer shuttle service for health workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 18, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said they are eyeing to provide shuttle services for employees working in the health sector amid the enhanced community quarantine.

DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya said the instruction of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año on the first day of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is for local government units (LGUs) to assist their health workers.

Inaayos na po natin ang sistema para magkaroon na po sila ng shuttle service, (we are working on the system for them [health workers] to have shuttle services),” he said.

Amid the mass transportation ban, the government of Quezon City provided free rides for stranded passengers. A rescue van in Caloocan, meanwhile, also offered free rides to stranded passengers along Balintawak area.

Alberto Caranto, a barangay officer in Caloocan City said there was still enough space in their van so there was no reason not to assist stranded passengers.

Nakita namin itong mga tao kawawa naman po ilang oras nang naghihintay, kaya kami isinakay na namin sila, (We saw these people who are waiting for hours so we offered to give them a ride)” he said. — AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

PNP warns arrest vs. PUV drivers still operating during enhanced quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2020

Droves of taxi units line the length of EDSA after being arrested for violating the public transportation ban under the enhanced community quarantine.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday warned that public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers who still continue to operate amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon will be arrested.

Highway Patrol Group (HPG) director Police Brigadier General Eliseo Cruz said that PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa has given the order for cops manning border checkpoints to apprehend those who will disobey the suspension order for mass public transport.

“Ipinag-utos natin sa lahat ng Regional Highway patrol group unit na ipatupad na ito, hulihin na lahat ang public utility vehicles yung bus, jeep sa kamaynilaan, yung taxi,” Cruz said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night placed Luzon region under enhanced quarantine period in an effort to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Under the enhanced quarantine period, operations of mass public transportation, including buses, jeepneys, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS), UV Express, Point-to-Point Buses, and motorcycle taxis are suspended.

The suspension is effective from March 17 to April 13, the Department of Transportation said.

During day one of the measure, 600 taxis plying the stretch of south and north bounds of EDSA Santolan were blocked by authorities.

“Makikita niyo puro taxi na ang nahuhuli natin dahil wala na talaga yung mga bus. Ipinatupad na ng kanilang company na hindi na sila bibiyahe, itong mga taxi ang mga dahilan ay hindi daw hindi alam,” Cruz said.

He said the license of the said taxi drivers were initially collected but were later released as they opted to just take a photo of their license cards, and get the taxi operators’ contact details to warn them against continuing operation.

“The HPG will submit a report to LTFRB o LTO for their appropriate action. Sa ngayon ire-release natin sila pero tuloy-tuloy ang panghuhuli namin sa mga susunod na araw,” he said.

Authorities earlier said that arrests will only be made during the enhanced quarantine period if people show blatant disrespect or disobedience to authorities.

Under this enhanced community quarantine period, strict home quarantine is also imposed and heightened forces deployed to control points will be implemented. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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