Image from LTFRB FB page.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is expanding free rides in public utility vehicles (PUVs) to other routes in the country.
DOTr Undersecretary Mark Steven Pastor shared during a Laging Handa briefing that the “libreng sakay” effort of PUVs such as modern and traditional jeepneys, UV Express, and buses started on Monday, April 11.
“Itong linggo na rin ito, ila-launch na rin natin, iro-rollout natin itong iba’t ibang mga ruta sa buong bansa. Under the Service Contracting Program, makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan na babalik itong libreng sakay hindi lang sa National Capital Region kundi sa Luzon, Visayas, at sa Mindanao,” he said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Saturday that the Edsa bus carousel route will be the first routes to be launched under the initiative.
The LTFRB will also open the NLEX to Metro Manila service route for the free ridership program in the next few days.
“Ito po ay babayaran ng gobyerno, ‘yung kanilang daily operational cost,” Pastor said, adding that there’s a P7 billion budget under the 2022 General Appropriations Act for the program.
“Ito ay epektibo hanggang meron kaming pondo. Kami ay naglaan ng P7 billion at ito ay uubusin natin upang masigurado natin ang kinikita ng ating drivers at operators at makakatipid ang ating mga kababayan sa paggastos sa transportasyon,” he added.
Under the program, bus drivers in the Edsa busway will get P84 from the previous P82 per kilometer. Jeepney and other bus drivers, on the other hand, will get P55 from P54 per kilometer. — Ronald Espartinez