Nov 15, 2019

It’s no secret that commuting around the country is no easy task. The traffic jams in the cities are steadily worsening, and the public transportation vehicles that are available to commuters are almost always cramped. 

[READ: 5 tips for a stress-free commute]

Senator Leila De Lima, however, has filed a bill that hopes to change all of that for commuters. Senate Bill No. 1165, also known as the “Passenger Transit Rights Acts of 2019,” hopes to ensure the comfort of commuters, while protecting them from unprofessional and abusive drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Senator De Lima notes that the lack of comfort and safety on PUVs add to the daily stressors that commuters encounter. “While uncomfortably seated in cramped public utility vehicles, the space—or the lack of it, becomes least of their concerns. They clamor for comfort, but ultimately, they beg for safety,” she added.

“Exposed to this unfortunate experience and a daily exposure to risks and accidents, under the hands of drivers and operators having very little to no regard to the rights of commuters, it therefore becomes obligatory upon the State to ensure their safety whenever they avail of services,” she said.

The proposed bill cites the minimum standards PUVs must adhere to, which includes the right of passengers to travel while seated throughout the journey, to demand and receive exact change, and to be provided safe, clean, and well-lit waiting sheds. Drivers cannot demand a fare higher than what is indicated in the fare matrix, and metered vehicles cannot refuse passengers due to distance or heavy traffic.

Aside from establishing standards for passengers and PUVs, the proposed bill also mandates the creation of a Passenger Transit Rights Commission, which will ensure that the standards are observed, and prepare contingency plans for technical issues that commuters may encounter.

The proposed bill also mandates the creation of a Transportation Action Center, which will receive and arbitrate passenger complaints.


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TAGS: nolisoli Senate Bill Senate Bill No. 1165 Senator Leila De Lima