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April 10, 2021

LTFRB Says Public Transportation Now at 76 Percent of Pre-COVID-19 Numbers

In a bid to curb the operation of illegal or colorum public utility vehicles, the Department of Transport (DOTr) through the LTFRB is expanding the number routes where PUVs can ply.

The LTFRB will add around 4,400 PUV units plying a total of 250 routes to service Metro Manila and the surrounding areas as early as next week. This will join the 53,441 PUV units plying 745 routes that are currently in operation. The agency says that the numbers, prior to the added units which includes taxis, TNVS, shuttle service, and trucks for hire, already represent 76 percent of pre-COVID-19 numbers.

For buses entering Metro Manila, they are subject to the approval and requirements of concerned LGU units. Meanwhile, the DOTr will deploy more enforcers in the EDSA Carousel and at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) for the intensified operations against violators of health and safety protocols.

The government’s free ride for health workers will also continue. In fact, as support and encouragement to participating PUVs, the DOTr has ordered an increase in per kilometer fee rates. For buses, the increase is P 82.50 from the previous P 46.80. For the Modern jeepneys, the kilometer fee rate for free rides is increased to P 52.50.

The DOTr and LTFRB’s decision to add more PUV options to the riding public stems from recent cases of colorum practices which could result in “COVID-19 smuggling” in and out of the NCR-Plus bubble. In an operation led by the LTO, they’ve so far apprehended 51 colorum vehicles that violated IATF and DOTr health and safety protocols.

The DOTr reiterates that violation of the minimum public health standards is meted with imprisonment ranging from one to six months, and a fine of P 20,000 to P 50,000. For colorum vans, the fine is P 200,000 while for colorum buses, the penalty is P 1 million.

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