Poe calls on bus operators, transport chief to address commuters’ concerns
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe called on bus operators and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Monday to address the concerns of commuters, saying that they should not suffer from lack of transportation and long queues.
“‘Wag naman natin silang ipitin at pahirapan pa sa pag-aabang, pagbabakasakali at pagpapalipat-lipat ng masasakyan,” Poe, Senate public services committee chair, told bus operators in a statement.
(Let us not put commuters in a tight situation and burden them in waiting and hoping for a ride and transferring to other utility vehicles.)
“The bottomline is to serve our passengers coming to and from the provinces carrying heavy belongings, with meager resources and no home or place to stay in Metro Manila,” she continued.
The senator further called on the transport chief to ensure the passengers’ convenience.
“We call on Secretary Tugade to ensure that things work out for our passengers who brave long hours of commuting under risk of peril,” she said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earlier blamed bus operators over confusion on the window hour scheme.
The MMDA earlier imposed window hours for provincial buses from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. — hours when they can drop off passengers in their private terminals.
Beyond the window hours, buses can still operate but must terminate their trips in integrated terminals.
However, provincial bus operators allegedly limited their operations during the window hours, leaving commuters stranded.
“What further hurts commuters is that they have to shell out more for fares instead of spending less,” the senator lamented.
Poe earlier pointed out the urgency to have seamless connectivity in public transportation and stressed the importance of intermodal terminals in strategic locations for greater accessibility.
“We must place the highest interest of commuters above all. This cannot be compromised,” she said.
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