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November 14, 2019

DOTr Clarifies Why We Can't Have Vans as Modern PUVs

With the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s PUV Modernization Program in full swing, several netizens pointed out an obvious question: why the need for specialized units based on trucks or pickups when carmakers have vans and minibuses ready for deployment.

Well, DOTr Undersecretary for Land Transport, Mark de Leon clarifies this.

Modern PUVs are required to have a side door on the curb side with a floor to ceiling height set at 1.75 meters (roughly 5 feet and 7 inches). By comparison, the Hiace LXV is measured at just 1.52 meters (5 feet) while a minibus such as the Toyota Coaster still falls short at 1.66 meters (5 feet and 4 inches). This makes it more convenient and safer for passengers to get in and out. It also allows for standing passengers translating into additional income for the driver.

More than just the door and height, de Leon says that even the distances between seats and the gangways or aisles are all set based on international standards (Class I and Class III of UNECE M2—vehicles for the carriage of passengers having more than 8 seats and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tons). For those curious, the minimum seat width set for a Modern PUV is at 400 millimeters (15.7 inches). Moreover, hand or grab rail standards are specified as are emergency exits.

These standards are all covered via the DTI’s Bureau of Public Standards: BPS PNS 2126:2017 and PNS 2131:2018. Separately, the DTI will also create a standard for PWD access for these Modern PUVs.

“That is why we really need the support of the passengers and all stakeholders in the PUV sector to ensure the success of the PUV Modernization Program as it is the biggest non-infrastructure program of the Duterte Administration. It has long been awaited for and this is our chance to make this happen,” says de Leon.

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