By Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio
THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said on Friday the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will add more buses to the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Fifteen (15) buses will be added to each of the following routes: PITX to NAIA Airport Loop; PITX to Bonifacio Global City; PITX to Ayala via Buendia; and PITX to Lawton.
The LTFRB will also add 300 UV Express Units to the Paliparan to PITX via Molino route and 200 UV Express Units to the Bacoor to PITX via Molino route.
In a statement on Friday, the DoTr said: “Batay sa mismong monitoring ng DOTr at LTFRB, mas mababa kaysa sa nakasaad na database ang bilang ng mga bus na tumatalima sa mga itinakdang ruta kaugnay ng pagkakatatag ng PITX.” (Based on the monitoring of DoTr and LTFRB, the number of buses plying the routes of PITX is lower than what is recorded in the database.)
“Ito ang dahilan kung bakit kulang ang mga bus na dumadaan sa PITX upang kumuha ng mga pasahero. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit naiipon ang mga pasahero sa PITX lalo na tuwing gabi,” the DOTr added. (This is why there are few buses going to PITX to pick up passengers. This is why there are more passsengers at PITX especially at night.)
The Senate has begun its inquiry into the operations at PITX, as led by chair of the transportation committee Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares.
Ms. Llamanzares questioned why 300 buses were allowed to operate beyond PITX in October when buses, jeepneys and UVs coming from Cavitex were instructed to end their operations at the terminal.
The DoTr’s Department Order (DO) 2018-25 requires all provincial buses to terminate their route at the PITX, but 195 were exempted. The agency, however, said it is willing to reconsider the order.
In a statement on Friday, Ms. Llamanzares said, “We welcome the move of the DOTr and the LTFRB to immediately come up with concrete solution to the chaos at the PITX.
She added: “A major proposal of the DOTr and LTFRB involves the grant of new franchise for identified routes of buses, UV express and jeepney. Paano natukoy kung saan-saan ang mga rutang ito? Paano naitakda ang bilang ng mga bus, jeep o UV express na bibigyan ng prangkisa? Tandaan natin na ang pagbibigay ng karagdagang prangkisa ay nangangahulugang karagdagang sasakyan sa kalsada.” (How were the routes determined, and the number of vehicles to be given a franchise? Let us remember that more franchises means more vehicles on the road.)
“The DOTr, LTFRB, operators of bus, jeepney, UV express, commuters group and other concerned stakeholders should be gathered and have their say in this latest directive by the DOTr,” the senator also said. “A technical working group can be created to immediately draft a plan that will address the concerns of the users of PITX.”