Grab supports PUV Modernization Program

MANILA-- Ridesharing services company Grab Philippines supports the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) which seeks to provide safe, comfortable and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to commuters.

The program aims to enhance commuter experience by upgrading vehicles to meet safety, energy efficiency and emission standards through overhauling of the public transportation system.

Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu believes that the PUV Modernization Program will enable to make available more technology-based transport solutions such as transport network vehicle services (TNVS) in the country.

He said that the company will support the government's efforts to improve the state of public transportation system in the country by providing financing and training.

Grab Philippines strongly supports the Transportation Department in its efforts for PUV modernization Cu said in a statement.

It's the first step towards a real multi-modal transport system through the synergy of national government and local government units (LGUs). This can only be achieved through the use of technology such as Grab's, he added.

Cu noted the PUV Modernization Program will make public transport safe and convenient for the commuters, and cost-effective for operators and drivers. Grab has always been about providing safety, convenience and reliability to its commuters, and we are one with the DOTr in this principle, according to him.

The DOTr has released on Monday the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) for PUVs which introduces reforms in granting of franchises by implementing new route planning rules and improved standards for operators and vehicles.

Under the OFG, public transport routes will be planned by local government units (LGUs) based on the current and projected travel patterns in their respective areas. These routes will be contained in the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) of LGUs which will serve as basis for franchise issuance by the LTFRB.

The LTFRB will require existing operators to consolidate into cooperatives or consortiums to gain better access to resources, share operations and maintenance costs and maximize profits thru efficient vehicle dispatch.

The government has provided a financial assistance program for public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers to modernize the country's public transport.

The Landbank's Special Environment Friendly and Efficiently Driven (SPEED) program will provide a credit facility to drivers and operators to enable them to replace their PUJs in compliance with the PUV Modernization Program.

An initial budget of PHP1 billion for individual loans will be awarded to 650 PUJ operators and drivers in Metro Manila to enable them to acquire a jeepney with a minimum requirement of Euro-4 engine or better.

Other proposed specifications include closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.

The PUV Modernization Program will also ensure that drivers will have the security of monthly salary and benefits as well as reduced working hours. They will also be less exposed to air pollution and other health hazards due to the modernized vehicle specifications.

The LTFRB has also created a driving academy for PUV drivers and operators to inculcate road safety lessons to lessen accidents on the road and proper etiquette when dealing with passengers.

DOTr will also implement social protection measures to mitigate any adverse impacts on the vulnerable members of the public transport sector in consultation with LTFRB and other affected stakeholders.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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