The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday announced that it is seeking the approval of local government units (LGU) to open additional routes for traditional jeepneys and provincial buses in Metro Manila.
In a statement, LTFRB National Capital Region (NCR) regional director Zona Tamayo stressed that the proposal aims to put an end to the proliferation of colorum vehicles transporting people to areas with quarantine restrictions amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Tamayo noted that the agency is targeting to open 60 more routes for traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ) and additional 190 routes for provincial buses entering Metro Manila as it translates to at least 4,400 more public transportation units in the region, comprised of 1,800 PUJ and 2,600 buses.
“For the buses entering Metro Manila, it is subject to the approval of concerned LGU because it is their discretion if they will resume the operations of provincial buses,” Tamayo said.
As of end-March, about 76 percent of pre-pandemic public transportation in Metro Manila was allowed to resume operations, including taxis, transport network vehicle services, shuttle service and trucks for hire.
Data from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) also showed that 745 routes or 53,441 public transportation units were allowed to ply NCR roads.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier ordered an intensified crackdown on trucking companies and colorum vehicles that illegally transport Covid-untested people into the NCR Plus quarantine bubble.
To recall, a viral video which circulated on social media disclosed the illegal operation of a truck with people huddled inside and were instructed to board several unmarked commuter vans which would bring them to their destinations in Metro Manila.
“These things must not be tolerated. Let’s move strongly on this. This should be stopped. They compromise the entire nation. All of our efforts in testing, isolation, and treatment will go to waste because of this,” Tugade said.