DOTr bares 2 phases of public transport revival in GCQ areas
MANILA, Philippines — The resumption of public transport in areas placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) will be done in two phases beginning June 1, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Friday.
For Phase 1 covering June 1 to 21, DOTr said trains and bus augmentation, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services, point-to-point buses, and bicycles will be allowed to operate but with limited passenger capacity.
Tricycles will also be allowed to operate during Phase 1 but subject to prior approval of the concerned local government unit (LGU), the DOTr also said in a statement.
“In Phase 1, no provincial buses will be allowed to enter Metro Manila,” it added.
For Phase 2 covering June 22 to 30, DOTr said Public Utility Buses (PUBs), modern public utility vehicles (PUVs), and UV Express will be permitted to operate with limited passenger capacity, along with the initial set of transport modes that were allowed to run during Phase 1.
“To effectively ensure and monitor the limited capacity and passenger load of all the public transport vehicles, the 1-meter social distance rule between persons will be strictly enforced inside all the PUVs and mass transport units, in adherence to health protocols,” DOTr noted.
Earlier, the transportation department said it would dedicate lanes for buses in Edsa under the GCQ setup.
“In addition, the transformation of EDSA will include designated lanes for bikes, as well as the putting up of Pedestrian Crossing and Bus Boarding Areas in strategic places,” the DOTr likewise said.
Further, DOTr enumerated measures that public transport operators and drivers, as well as terminal administrators, must obey in areas under GCQ:
– Wearing of face masks at all times
– Implementation of no-contact measures such as cashless payments
– Use of thermal scanners
– Availability of alcohol and sanitizers in PUVs
– Disinfection of high-touch surfaces of vehicles
– Establishment of disinfection facilities in various public transport terminals
– Contact tracing
Under the “new normal” arrangement, DOTr said it will likewise use technology to enforce initiatives for road-based transport and to minimize physical contact or face-to-face interaction to prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus disease.
“The modernization initiatives include the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) for cashless payment transactions, electronic toll collection, and GNSS/GPS. The DOTr will likewise vigorously pursue and promote online transactions in licensing, registration, and other documentary requirements,” it said.
DOTr noted the adoption of the Public Transport Online Processing System developed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), which is set to run in Metro Manila on June 1.
“This system will allow transactions to be made online, except the publication and hearing of cases—which will make LTFRB services faster and accessible for all its stakeholders,” said the DOTr.
Other institutional changes to be implemented by the department are at the following:
– Routes rationalization for more effective traffic management
– Industry consolidation, to make it more efficient and financially tenable for stakeholders
– The use of shuttle services to prevent students and employees from contracting the virus will also be encouraged
– Promotion of the use of non-motorized transport or use of bicycles to maintain physical distancing, provide environmental and health benefits, and promote efficient road space use.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Albay, and Davao City will be placed under GCQ by June 1. The rest of the country, meanwhile, will be under modified GCQ.
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