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LTFRB to open 100 PUV routes as classes start  

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
LTFRB to open 100 PUV routes as classes start   
Daily commuters pay for their jeepney fare in Marikina on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
THE STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is planning to open around 100 new and old routes for public utility vehicles (PUVs) in time for the opening of classes on Aug. 22, LTFRB Chairperson Cheloy Garafil said on Friday night.

She said opening the routes would encourage public utility vehicle drivers and operators to return to service and ensure transport options for students and teachers.

The LTFRB is also looking to deploy at least 80 percent of the PUVs.

“Hopefully by reopening old routes and extending it further, hopefully it can cover more distance at makabalik sila sa pagpapasada. For the PUVs, we expect na 80 percent mababalik na sa kalsada,” she said in an interview on OneNews’ “The Chiefs.”

Garafil said the old routes that were closed due to the pandemic will be reopened while new routes will go through the University Belt and other student-heavy areas.

The LTFRB is following a directive from President Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte to ensure that there would be enough PUVs for in-person classes, according to Garafil.

These new routes would enable operators to be financially viable amid the increase in fuel prices, she said.

Garafil noted that the number of authorized PUVs remains the same as before the pandemic.

“It’s just that many no longer (plied their routes) because the distance of the route was reduced. So we were asked if the routes could be returned to make plying the routes more viable,” she said.

The LTFRB is also planning to increase the number of buses that ply the EDSA Busway to cope with the increased demand once in-person classes start.

From the current fleet of about 400 buses, Garafil said the LTFRB seeks to increase the number of units to 550 to ensure a better supply, especially during the rush hour.

However, bus operators have difficulty supplying 440 units for the busway, according to Garafil, due to the lack of drivers or vehicles breaking down.

Garafil clarified that standing will not be allowed in PUVs and only the maximum seating capacity will be permitted, in compliance with government COVID protocols.

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