May 29, 2020

After the declaration of NCR’s shift to general community quarantine beginning next week, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has released new guidelines as the public transport sector prepares to resume operations.

Safety measures

Passengers and drivers are now required to wear face masks at all times, and high-touch surfaces in vehicles should be disinfected regularly. Disinfection areas with alcohol and soap will be placed in terminals and PUVs.

To ensure that the limited passenger loads are enforced in PUVs, the one-meter social distancing rule will be enforced.


DOTr will be adopting two phases to allow the operation of public transportation. The first phase, which is set to take place from Jun. 1 to 21, will be allowing trains, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services and point-to-point buses to operate with limited passenger capacity. 

300 buses will also be allowed to resume operations during this first phase, to augment trains’ limited capacity. Tricycles may also operate, provided they secure approval from their respective LGUs.

The second phase, which will take place from Jun. 22 to 30, will be allowing public utility buses (PUBs), modern PUVs and UV Express units to operate with limited passenger capacity. These will be operating alongside the transport modes allowed to operate during Phase 1.

According to their previous guidelines, PUBs should limit their passengers to 50 percent of their maximum capacity, excluding the driver and conductor. Taxis and UV Express units should be limited to two passengers per row and one passenger on the driver’s row. Only one passenger is allowed in a tricycle’s sidecar.

Train systems such as the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) will only be allowing 150 passengers per train.

Online transactions

To minimize physical interactions, DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will be adopting cashless payment systems for taxis, TNVS and other public transport systems.

[READ: No cash, no contact: Digital payment now the “new normal” for taxis and TNVS]

As for transactions for registration and other requirements, LTFRB will be adopting the Public Transport Online Processing System (PTOPS), which will make most transactions take place online—except for the publication and hearings of cases.


Header photo by Niño Jesus Orbeta for

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TAGS: coronavirus covid-19 department of transportation dotr gcq general community quarantine Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board LTFRB nolisoli