The city government of Manila’s crackdown on trip-cutting public utility vehicles has apprehended 140 violators in the last two weeks, which Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada warned is only the start of the strengthened drive against erring PUV drivers.
Estrada commended the special anti-trip cutting unit of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau for its relentless operations from August 24 to September 13, apprehending drivers of both passenger jeepneys and buses.
“This is just the taste of it,” Estrada warned the drivers. “You will surely have more bad days in the coming weeks if you won’t stop that illegal practice.”
Trip-cutting is the practice of PUV drivers to cut short their route due to petty reasons, such as traffic congestion, and to save on fuel costs.
The mayor emphasized that trip cutting is a clear violation of a PUV’s franchise. “We will never relent until this illegal practice of trip cutting is stopped,” he said.
MTPB team leader Elvis Patao said the violators will be fined P1,000 each based on the city’s traffic code.
Most were apprehended in Divisoria and P. Burgos fronting Manila City Hall with the help of members of the Manila Police District. The others were apprehended in Adriatico district, particularly along Padre Faura Street, and in Sta. Cruz.
At Binondo, Patao said they have put up a permanent outpost to catch trip cutters.
“As instructed by Mayor Erap, we don’t give second chances to violators we have apprehended. We must be strict in this campaign to serve as a lesson to these erring drivers,” he pointed out.
Patao encouraged the public to text or call their hotline 0917-154-4514 in case they are victimized by cutting trip, or report it to Estrada’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mayorjosephestrada/).
“If you can, take a picture of the vehicle’s license plate, and send it to us. We will do the rest,” he said.
Starting next week, Estrada announced they will start conducting nighttime operations because based on the complaints they have received, trip cutting is more rampant after 5 p.m.
Based on the complaints reported by netizens to Estrada’s Facebook page, trip-cutting is rampant in the following routes: R. Papa-Rizal Avenue; Divisoria-Recto-San Juan; Harrison Plaza-Baclaran-Buendia; Sta. Ana-Padre Faura-Robinson’s Place; and City Hall-Taft Avenue-Baclaran, among others.
The Land Transportation and Franchising Board imposes a fine of P5,000 to violators.