Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra announced that UV express and traditional jeepneys will return on the roads of the National Capital Region (NCR) next week.
While Delgra mentioned that UV express vehicles will begin resuming operations on June 29, he did not cite a definite date for traditional jeepneys. Earlier on June 16, the LTFRB chairman said that they are eyeing “on or before the end of the month” as the return date of jeepneys on the road—but with routes designated by LTFRB.
After the shift to general community quarantine, a two-phase resumption of public utility vehicles (PUV) based on a hierarchy of transport has been in place. The capacity of not just the vehicle units, but also the operators in charge of management, were taken note of to identify which modes of transport would be prioritized.
So far, trains, bus augmentations, point-to-point buses, taxis, transport network vehicles and tricycles have been allowed back on the road as part of the first phase. UV express and modern jeepneys are part of the second phase, but the latter has already started ferrying commuters in Metro Manila last June 22.
“The bus and modern jeepney we’re talking about, they are better managed than the traditional jeepney or the UV Express,” commented Delgra.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also previously said that UV express vans have better chances of getting back on the road compared to traditional jeepneys. “Because the sitting arrangement is you’re all facing the same direction and there are no passengers facing each other,” he said.
Due to the long wait to lift the ban on traditional jeepneys despite operators and drivers taking the initiative to institute safety protocols in their vehicles, some operators and drivers have been demanding the government to let them return to work. Last June 2, six drivers from the transport group Piston were arrested for protesting in Caloocan.
[READ: Finally free: Last of Piston 6 members, including 72-year old jeep driver, released after posting bail]
Prioritization of modernized jeepneys’ operations over traditional jeepney has also earned the criticism of transport groups, as well as Vice President Leni Robredo.
Header photo from Inquirer.net
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