More vehicles may be allowed

THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday said it might open 250 more routes and allow 4,400 more public vehicles to operate in Metro Manila next week.

It would be up to local government units whether to let the buses enter Manila, the capital and nearby cities, LTFRB Director Zona Russet M. Tamayo told an online news briefing.

The transport regulator may allow 1,800 more traditional jeepneys and 2,600 provincial buses to operate in the capital region.

Currently, there are 53,441 public vehicles allowed to operate in Metro Manila, including city buses, point-to-point buses, modern jeepneys, traditional jeepneys, modern and traditional UV Express, and provincial buses.

The LTFRB also intends to open 250 more routes in Metro Manila next week — 60 for traditional jeepneys and 190 for provincial buses. Public vehicles are allowed to operate in 745 Metro Manila routes.

“As of March 2021, 76% of pre-pandemic data for public transportation in Metro Manila have already been allowed to resume operations during the general community quarantine,” Ms. Tamayo said.

Also on Thursday, the Transportation department said it was increasing the surveillance of unregistered vehicles after reports that these were being used to transport people who have not been tested for the coronavirus into the capital region amid a strict lockdown. — Arjay L. Balinbin