Roadworthy traditional jeepneys back on Metro roads today

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) finally allowed more than 6,000 traditional jeeps to ply Metro Manila routes today. The board officially gave the green light for traditional jeepneys to resume operations through Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-026 signed by LTFRB chair Martin Delgra.

“Resumption of operations for PUJs on routes identified per Annex A shall be implemented in Metro Manila during the period of GCQ, or as may be allowed by the IATF-EID starting July 3, 2020,” the memo stated.

The king is back on the road

In the transportation hierarchy envisioned by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), traditional jeeps were the last to be reactivated in the two-phase resumption process in public transport.

Phase 1 that kicked off in June 1 saw the return of trains, city buses and shuttles, followed by UV Express units and modern jeeps on Phase 2 that started June 22. Traditional jeeps were given a chance in NCR after more than three months of being sidelined under the community quarantines imposed by government.

A total of 6,002 traditional jeepneys were allowed to go back in 49 routes as of Friday. The list of allowed routes and the number of units to ply each route may be modified in the following days by LTFRB, depending on passenger demand.

Meeting government requirements

Before being allowed to resume, traditional PUJ operators provided PUJs that are currently registered roadworthy with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and with valid Personal Passenger Insurance Policy.

At the terminal/dispatch area, operators and drivers were required to check the body temperature of passengers prior to boarding. Drivers must also wear masks and gloves at all times, and operate at a maximum of 50 percent capacity. For passengers, a “No face mask, No Ride” policy is enforced. To make contact tracing easier, drivers should distribute Passenger Contact Forms that will be collected via drop box.

No special permit is necessary but a corresponding QR code shall be issued to the operator. This must be printed and displayed in the corresponding PUJ unit. The QR code may be by downloaded from the LTFRB website at www.ltfrb.gov.ph.

What happens to jeeps failing roadworthiness tests?

Though the 6,000 PUJ units will be a big help in meeting the public transportation needs of Metro residents, this number is seemingly small compared to the estimated 55,000 PUJ units that were operating in Metro Manila prior to the lockdown.

In an interview at ANC’s Headstart, host Karen Davila quizzed Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), general manager Jojo Garcia about the fate of jeepneys that may not pass government roadworthiness standards or fail to meet the new set of requirements.

“For those na hindi na roadworthy, I think its impossible for them to go out. Alam naman natin na kung hindi road worthy ang sasakyan mo, you cannot register it sa LTO,” Garcia says.

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