THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Sunday said there would be no fare increase for provincial buses once the 12 identified routes open on Sept. 30 amid a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We will implement the same fare rates initially,” Joel D. Bolano, head of LTFRB’s Central Office Technical Division, said at a virtual briefing on Sunday.

On Saturday, the transport regulator said that starting Sept. 30, public utility buses with valid certifications and  insurance policies may ply the following routes: San Fernando, Pampanga to Araneta Center, Cubao in Quezon City; Batangas City to Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITx); Lemery, Batangas to PITx; Lipa City to PITx; Nasugbu to PITx; Indang, Cavite to PITx; Mendez to PITx; Tagaytay City to PITx; Ternate to PITx; Calamba City, Laguna to PITx; Siniloan, Laguna to PITx; and Sta. Cruz, Laguna to PITx.

The regulator said passengers must get their trip tickets at least 48 hours before the trip. “No on-the day or walk-in ticket shall be sold except for emergency purposes,” it said.

The regulator said the one-meter physical distancing must be observed inside buses. Standing passengers are not allowed. — Arjay L. Balinbin