The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced Sunday that 980 UV Express vans traveling to and from Metro Manila and nearby provinces will be allowed to operate on 47 routes starting Monday, June 29.
READ: Jeepneys, UV Express vans back on the road next week—LTFRB
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said that the approved guidelines rationalizing the deployment of the UV Express vehicles is in line with the gradual, calibrated and calculated approach of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila under a general community quarantine (GCQ).
READ: UV Express, jeeps back next week
Delgra said the LTFRB is not discounting the possibility of deploying additional modern and traditional jeepneys later to augment the operations of the UV Express vehicles, depending on passenger demand.
Delgra also reminded UV Express operators and drivers to follow the LTFRB guidelines to operate on a terminal-to-terminal basis with no pick ups and drop offs in between, and not to travel along EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue except to cross.
The existing fare rate would remain, he said.
Under quarantine guidelines, operators must regularly examine a driver's fitness to work, checkING their body temperature and screen for symptoms of COVID-19. Drivers and conductors must wear masks and gloves at all times, as must commuters. Passengers must not exceed two per row, one seat apart, to maintain physical distancing. Operators must also install impermeable barriers to seal off the driver's compartment from the rest of the vehicle.
Earlier, Delgra said jeepneys will also be allowed on the streets this week after a three-month ban following quarantine protocols implemented by authorities due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Buses and modern public utility vehicles have been allowed to ply the streets to serve commuters since June 1, and based on the hierarchy set by the government, UV Express and jeepneys will only be allowed to operate if there is not enough public transportation available.
In the Senate, Senator Grace Poe said traditional jeepneys that have passed the road worthiness test should be allowed to ply their routes to augment the transportation needs of commuters in Metro Manila as it transitions to a more relaxed quarantine.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said jeepney units that would be back on the road should also be compliant with safety and health protocols to limit the risk of the COVID-19 transmission.
She said commuters were experiencing daily distress in getting to their destination because of the apparent lack of public utility vehicles on the road and the fewer capacity they can accommodate as part of social distancing.
READ: Groups slam jeepney phaseout, Palace says options up for some
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