The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved the opening of new public transportation routes here as it moves to upgrade the area’s transport system, an official said on Friday.
Paterno Reynato Padua, LTFRB-Region 12 director, said the move was in line with the city’s newly completed Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), which outlines the route network, mode, and required a number of units for the delivery of public land transport services in the area.
He said they formally handed over to the city government on Thursday a notice of compliance for the completion of the plan, which underwent a series of assessments by public transportation experts commissioned by their central office.
The official said the local government, through the city council, may now adopt the plan through an ordinance.
“After that, we will wait for the issuance of a memorandum circular announcing the routes that will be opened so we can start the application and selection process for entities that will serve them,” he said in a radio interview.
The LPTRP features nine public transport routes covering major roads to and from the city’s central business district and other convergence and growth areas within the city’s 27 barangays.
Two of these are already existing and serviced by local transport cooperatives but still on limited capacity as tricycles remain the main mode of public transportation in the area.
Padua said that under the guidelines, the established routes will be operated by four-wheeled modern PUVs run by transport cooperatives while franchises will no longer be issued to individual applicants.
He said tricycle drivers and operators in the city may organize themselves into cooperatives and apply to fill up the open routes.
The cooperative should be registered with the Cooperative Development Authority and accredited with the Department of Transportation’s Office of Transportation Cooperatives, he said.
“This will undergo the proper process and only one entity will be selected to operate each route,” Padua said.
Under the LPTRP, City Mayor Eliordo Ogena said at least 138 modern PUVs will be plying the nine transport routes or loops within the city.
He said these are city proper to Barangays San Jose, Saravia, Topland, San Roque, Paraiso, San Isidro, and Morales.
Two loops will be opened in the city’s downtown area, with each serviced by 15 to 16 PUVs, he said.
The mayor assured that the existing tricycles will not be displaced with the implementation of the route plan as these will be allowed to operate in designated drop-off points within the city.
He said the tricycle routes will cover the inner portions of the city and will no longer be allowed to traverse the national highways and other major thoroughfares, which is prohibited under national government policies.
“Once this is fully implemented, we foresee the decongestion of our national highways and the fare will become cheaper as well,” Ogena said.
Source: Philippines News Agency