Still no jeepneys for commuters anytime soon

REGULAR jeepney commuters were disappointed when they saw no jeepneys plying the old routes in towns and cities on May 16, the first day of the General Community Quarantine in Pangasinan.

Equally disappointed were members of the AUTOPRO Pangasinan (Alliance of United Transport Organizers Province-wide), who had looked forward to the green light from the local governments to return to the streets on May 16.

AUTOPRO Pangasinan president Bernard Tuliao said he was advised to wait for the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) to issue special permits to travel after approval and clearance from towns and cities included in a jeepney’s route are obtained by owners and operators.

Tuliao said LTFRB has so far only granted special permits to the 10 jeepneys in La Union.

He was also told that special permits for AUTOPRO’s 3,525 jeepney operators will be issued on a first come-first served basis.

Tuliao has recommended instead that special permits be allocated to his organization so it can be used by its members on a rotational basis so everyone can immediately have a chance to earn instead of limiting it to the permits to specific operators.

All operators are required to implement following protocol for ferrying passengers: 1) No mask-no ride. 2). Observe physical distancing inside the jeepney 3) Allow for constant body temperature check of passengers.

A provisional fare adjustment is also expected to be introduced: the P8.50 minimum fare for the first four kilometers will be increased to P9 and P1.50 will be charged for every succeeding kilometer.

The 20% discount for senior citizens and students will continue to be honored.

Meanwhile, Tuliao said he has appealed to member-operators to reduce their usual ‘boundary’ rate to drivers owing to the 50% reduction in capacity of their jeepneys due to compulsory physical distancing rule. (Ahikam Pasion)

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