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DOTr mulls increasing capacity in public transportation

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - June 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation is looking to gradually increase the passenger capacity in public transportation from the current 50 percent to ease the burden of commuters, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said yesterday.

Tugade said they plan to increase the passenger capacity by five to 10 percent at a time, subject to the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and local government units (LGUs).

“We will gradually expand it and seek the approval of the IATF and LGUs,” Tugade said at a virtual press briefing.

He said the current passenger capacity of 50 percent in public utility vehicles is not enough.

Tugade said there is a need to balance the needs of the riding public and that of the economy while still ensuring the safety of commuters.

The passenger capacity restrictions are meant to curb the transmission of COVID-19, he said.

Tugade said jeepney and bus operators want to increase the passenger capacity in public transportation.

“Jeepney and bus operators said they can do it. We will wait for the approval of the IATF and LGUs,” Tugade said.

He said steps are being undertaken by the DOTr to address the long queues at rail stations and bus stops along EDSA.

“We ask for the understanding of the riding public. Rest assured that we are on our toes to address these inconveniences along the EDSA busway,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tugade said he is still uncertain if he will run in next year’s elections as he is focused on finishing the DOTr projects before the term of President Duterte ends.

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