LTFRB: Violating PUJs, mini-buses risk cancellation of permits
NO AUTHORIZED FARE INCREASES IN PANGASINAN
PANDEMIC or no pandemic, public transportation fares before the pandemic must remain the same today and any fare increase without approval will be considered a violation of terms of franchises and special permits.
This was underscored by Director Nasrudin Talipasan of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 1 in response to numerous complaints received by his office that jeepneys and mini-buses plying different routes in Pangasinan have increased their fares, some by as much as 100%.
Fielding questions during the Question Hour of the virtual session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) last week, Talipasan stressed that it is not the discretion of the conductor or the driver to impose higher fare just because they are not allowed to load more than 50 percent of their usual capacities before this pandemic.
Talipasan stressed that the traditional jeepneys and mini-buses that were issued special permits to operate during the pandemic were not authorized to increase their usual fares.
Talipasan said many jeepneys and mini buses have been allowed to load more than 50% of their capacity because of their compliance to install plastic barriers between two sitting passengers, so imposition of higher fares cannot be justified.
He said only the modern jeepneys fielded by operators are allowed to charge higher rates
but not more than 10 percent than the normal fares to enable operators to recover their investments in the new units, in addition to offering more comfortable ride.
He told the SP that the modern jeepneys constitute only 20 percent of the public conveyances plying different routes in Pangasinan that were given special permits during the pandemic and have been required to display the fare matrixes inside their units.
He warned owners of violation of the fare matrixes, non-posting of fare matrixes or posting fake fare matrixes will be ground for cancelation of special permits.
Talipasan promised to provide the Pangasinan provincial government copies of fare matrix of each route through its PIO for the information of the riding public in Pangasinan.
He said the cost of franchise for a public utility vehicle is only P400, not P200,000 as reportedly being used to explain higher fares to complaining passengers.
Meanwhile, he said until cash-less transaction system is in place, passengers will continue to buy tickets at the bus terminal before boarding. (Leonardo Micua)
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