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Nationwide PUV ‘libreng sakay’ to end by July –LTFRB

Free rides in all modes of public utility vehicles under the government’s nationwide service contracting program will end by July, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Tuesday.

Based on the data from the LTFRB, 146 National Capital Region public utility jeepney (PUJ) cooperatives and corporations will stop giving free rides by June 30.

“For the buses, Busway will end by July pa as well as Commonwealth Route 7 bus from Montalban to Quezon Avenue,” LTFRB Executive Director Tina Cassion told reporters.

On April 11, the EDSA Busway Carousel started providing free rides to commuters under the third phase of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) service contracting program.

Under the service contracting program, public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers who will participate in the government’s free ridership program will receive a one-time payout and weekly payments based on the number of kilometers they traveled per week, whether they have passengers or not.

The routes for the free ride program involving PUVs, such as modern and traditional jeepneys, UV Express, and buses, was expanded nationwide in April.

According to the DOTr, the program was given a P7-billion budget in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2022, covering an initial 515 buses out of the 532 units registered in the program.

Meanwhile, the DOTr announced last May 25 that the extension of the free rides on the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) would last until June 30. — DVM, GMA News