The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued updated guidelines and protocols for the public road transport sector as the country shifts to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting Monday.

The DOTr identified two phases that will be adopted. Phase 1 from June 1 to 21 will allow bicycles, trains and bus augmentation, taxis, TNVS, shuttle services, and point-to-point buses to operate. Phase 2 from June 22 to 30 will allow public utility buses (PUBs), modern PUVs, and UV express to ply their routes.

The operation of tricycles will be subject to the prior approval of the local government unit. Provincial buses will not be permitted to enter Metro Manila during the first phase.

All transportation modes will operate with the prescribed limited load capacity and will adopt the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) for cashless, contactless payment transactions, electronic toll collection, and Global Navigation Satellite System and Global Positioning System (GNSS/GPS).

Starting June 1, the department will also come up with traffic flow changes on EDSA that provides for dedicated lanes for buses and bikes, and strategically placed bus stops and pedestrian crossings.

Other future initiatives include more effective routes rationalization, pushing for the use of shuttle services for students and employees, and promoting bicycles for commuting.

More specific implementing guidelines include one-meter physical distancing inside the vehicle, wearing of face masks at all times, use of thermal scanners, availability of alcohol and hand sanitizers, surface disinfection, and implementation of contact tracing procedure.  (Jojo Mangahis)