Prov’l buses reluctant to resume routes to NCR
THE planned rerouting of buses from Pangasinan to Bocaue in Bulacan Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) may be delayed even if the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LFTRB) acts on the petition of bus operators for special permits to field their units for travel to the south.
This was learned from Bennie Damayo, a dispatcher at Five Star Bus at the latter’s terminal in Dagupan City, who said the present situation in Metro Manila where there is renewed resurgence of the corona virus disease is a big cause of concern for drivers, conductors and passengers.
“We should protect our own employees, our passengers who may be infected by COVID-19,” Damayo told the PUNCH.
He pointed out that even if their operator and LTFRB will call the drivers, conductors and other employees to report to work, they will think twice before accepting the assignment because of health risks posed by COVID-19.
Five Star is the only bus company that ply some routes in Pangasinan: 14 buses are commuting passengers from Dagupan to Tayug via Rosales and Dagupan to Infanta via Alaminos City.
He also cited difficulties experienced by commuters today because even parents have to travel with a child, he or she is still required to secure a travel pass.
]According to Damayo, Five Star resumed some of its provincial operations in Pangasinan in July 2020, or a few months after the start of the pandemic on March 15 that year.
Under the guidelines of the LTFRB issued by the IATF, buses must place passengers one seat apart making buses accommodate maximum of 42 passengers.
He said Five Star is given the permit to travel from Pangasinan to Bocaue, and passengers who disembark will also board Five Star buses to the main terminal in Pasay Five Star also has trips from Bocaue to Moncada, Tarlac and vice versa.
According to Damayo, the bus operators appreciate the endorsement of Governor Amado Espino III for their applications. (Mayor Brian LIm of Dagupan City withheld his endorsement). (Butch Uka)
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