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Regulator bans taxi, TNVS surge rate

Cashless and contactless payment schemes is now the ‘new normal’ in public transportation and that this should not be treated by operators and drivers as another costly upgrade.

Maria Romero

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PUBLIC works officials and the Metro Manila Development Authority have reconfigured EDSA, a main thoroughfare, in time for today’s shift to general community quarantine conditions when traffic conditions tighten and commuting times lengthen once more for motorists and commuters alike. / PHOTOGRAPH BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_yumi

Taxis and so-called transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers are barred from imposing surge charges in the days ahead despite the anticipated spike in demand as Metro Manila eases quarantine restrictions.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chair Martin Delgra over the weekend said all taxis and TNVS units should maintain dynamic pricing to help ease 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.

“There’s no such thing as surge beyond the fare structure,” he quickly added.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said is no plan to raise fares for all kinds of public transport—including railway systems—beyond the quarantine period.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-018, 3,501 taxis and 2,025 TNVS units are now allowed to ply Metro Manila using a cashless fare payment system to help curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

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

The Department of Transportation (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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