The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board on Tuesday said it will be opening additional routes for traditional public utility jeepneys and UV Express vehicle units in Metro Manila as the region and its neighboring areas return to general community quarantine starting Wednesday, August 19.
For traditional jeepneys, the LTFRB said it has allowed the operation of additional 4,498 units in 60 routes.
The LTFRB said 2,203 PUJs in 34 routes will be authorized to ply the roads on Wednesday, while the remaining 2,295 units in 26 routes will be allowed starting Thursday.
LTFRB chairman, lawyer Atty. Martin Delgra III, said this was on top of the 7,945 authorized units in 63 routes before Metro Manila reverted into modified enhanced community quarantine. This brings the total number of authorized traditional jeepneys to 12,443 in 126 routes.
Meanwhile, four additional routes with 641 units have been authorized for UV Express, bringing the total number of authorized UVEs to 1,621 in 51 routes.
Aside from traditional PUJs and UVEs, the LTFRB said 3,662 public utility buses with 31 routes; 364 point-to-point buses in 33 routes; 20,493 taxis; 23,776 transport network vehicle service units; and 716 modern PUJs in 45 routes will also ply Metro Manila.
Delgra said all routes will be opened simultaneously starting Wednesday.
“There is actually an increase close to 60% of the units of the traditional PUJ from what was opened as late as August 4 to what will open starting tomorrow until August 20. Hopefully, this will avoid and avert problems in the past as regards sa kakulangan ng public transport,” Delgra said in a virtual press conference.
He added the LTFRB will still open new routes weekly.
Delgra also reminded commuters to observe health and safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said a “no face mask and no face shield, no ride” policy will be enforced in all sectors of public transportation as mandated by the Department of Transportation.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that NCR and nearby provinces will return to more relaxed GCQ from August 19 to 31. — RSJ, GMA News