Cashless fare transaction for PUVs, shuttle services for employees preferred during quarantine period — LTFRB

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is pushing for revisions in fare collection in public utility vehicles to help prevent more infections during the COVID-19 crisis.

"Sinusulong na po natin ang [We are pushing for] cashless transactions for taxis and TNVS," LTFRB Chairperson Martin Delgra said at the Laging Handa briefing Monday.

Delgra said they have met with companies to explore cashless transaction options for passengers to "reduce, if not avoid, transmission of the virus," adding that they were looking to enforce a similar option for buses.

He said such a policy was already being discussed even before the pandemic.

"Ito pong programa na ito, hindi po ito bago. Even before this pandemic came into our lives, sinusulong na po natin ito as part of our modernization program of our public transport. Ngayon lang nagiging urgent itong pangangailangan to go cashless. Kaya mabilis at pinaigting pa natin yung polisiya for all public transport to go cashless," he explained.

[Translation: This program is nothing new. Even before this pandemic came into our lives, we've been pushing for it as part of our modernization program of our public transport. It's only now that the need to go cashless has become urgent. That’s why we prioritized and intensified the policy for all public transport to go cashless.]

With public health and safety as the primary concern, Delgra said they are also working with bus companies to keep a manifesto of all passengers that will record, among others, their name and phone number. He added that the system may soon be adopted by all PUVs.

"Part of the safety protocol is contact tracing measures that would be in place for public transport systems. Unang-una po sa bus, sa bus po minandato po natin na ‘pag lalabas na po sila, papayagan na po sila sa mga lugar na pwede na silang tumakbo, kailangan po meron silang manifesto ng mga pasahero," he said.

[Translation: Part of the safety protocol is contact tracing measures that would be in place for public transport systems. In buses, we mandated that when they are allowed to ply their routes, they are obliged to keep a manifesto of their passengers.]

Passengers, meanwhile, are also requested to keep track of the PUVs they ride in, in case contact tracing becomes necessary after a co-passenger tests positive for the coronavirus.

"This is a shared responsibility by all and for all. Hindi lang po sa gobyerno ito na sinuslong, pati na rin po sa ating mga stakeholders, lalong-lalo na sa mga pampublikong sasakyan. I hope they comply and we are mandating them to comply," he said.

[Translation: This is a shared responsibility by all and for all. This isn't just for the government, but for the stakeholders, especially public transport. I hope they comply and we are mandating them to comply.]

Shuttle services encouraged

In MECQ areas, shuttle services are the only public transportation options allowed.

LIST: Businesses allowed to reopen in Metro Manila, areas under modified ECQ by May 16

Shuttle services are preferred because companies are assured that workers are able to arrive on time. It also means their employees would have no other interactions using other modes of transport.