Standing allowed once again in buses, e-jeeps | Inquirer News
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Standing allowed once again in buses, e-jeeps

/ 05:30 AM September 27, 2022
FREE RIDE A government shuttle bus offers passengers a free ride in Quezon City in this photo taken on Aug. 26. —LYN RILLON

FREE RIDE A government shuttle bus offers passengers a free ride in Quezon City in this photo taken on Aug. 26. —LYN RILLON

Commuters can once again put up with standing during their commute, after public utility vehicles (PUVs) have been allowed once more to accommodate passengers beyond their seating capacity.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday issued Memorandum Circular No. 2022-070, which brought back, starting that day, the practice among PUVs with seats already fully occupied to allow more passengers and have them stand on the aisles.

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This was effectively discouraged by the rule of physical distancing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But since the pandemic isn’t over, the circular still imposes certain limits on allowing standing commuters in PUVs.

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‘One person apart’

For “low-entry/low-floor” buses, only a maximum of 15 standing passengers will be allowed and they must be “at least one person apart,” the circular said.

For coach-type buses, only 10 standing passengers are allowed and they must maintain the same social distancing rule.

Modern e-jeepneys can only accommodate up to five standing passengers.

The LTFRB said “existing policies on minimum public health protocols inside PUVs shall be strictly observed at all times.”

Thus, failure to comply with the circular will be deemed a violation subject to penalties stipulated in Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01, which includes suspension or revocation of a PUV’s license.

But commuters are only too familiar with these rules, as opposed to the realities on the ground. INQ

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