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No taxi, TNVS rate surge

Maria Romero

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Heavy traffic on Metro Manila roads are expected Monday when more people and vehicles are allowed out. (Yummie Dingding)

All taxi and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) operators are barred from imposing surge charges despite the anticipated spike in demand as Metro Manila eases quarantine restrictions starting Monday.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chair Martin Delgra over the weekend said all taxis and TNVS units should maintain dynamic pricing to reduce the plight of the commuting public.

“There should be no unnecessary surge rate in all TNVS units because fare structures of all public land transportation are regulated by the LTFRB,” Delgra said.

Tthere’s no such thing as surge beyond the fare structure.”

Following LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-018, 3,501 taxis and 2,025 TNVS units are now allowed to ply the metro using a cashless fare payment system to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier disclosed that there is no plan to increase fares for all kinds of public transport—including railway systems—beyond the quarantine period.

Tugade said cashless and contactless payment schemes will now be part of the “new normal” in the public transportation system and this should not be treated by operators and drivers as another costly upgrade.

DOTr vowed to provide financial assistance to displaced drivers and operators once their proposed economic stimulus package is approved by Congress.

The transportation sector will get P70 billion from the P1.3 trillion stimulus budget under the proposed Accelerated Recovery and Investment Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill.

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