WATCH | I-ACT to field buses to make up for attrition in jeepneys


MANILA – To accommodate stranded commuters, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) got set to deploy on Tuesday, January 30 public utility buses as alternative mode of transportation after the government intensified its ‘Tanggal Bulok Tanggal Usok’ (TBTU) campaign.

Manny Gonzales, I-ACT chief traffic officer, noted that the number of operating Public Utility Jeepneys affected by the campaign have suffered severe attrition, even as others are having their units repaired back to road-worthy status in order to comply with the guidelines of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).

“We will be deploying the buses temporarily to use the routes of jeepneys,” Gonzales said, “where there are a great number of affected commuters.”

Aileen Lizada, I-ACT spokesperson, said that authorities have given special permits to at least 20 city buses that will cover the following jeepney routes: Fairview-Taft and Fairview-Quiapo.

Aside from the two routes, other prospective areas cover Commonwealth, Masinag, Baclaran, Novaliches, and Guadalupe.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board announced that buses will also accommodate commuters patronizing the Metro Rail Transit (MRT3).

Jojo Garcia, MMDA assistant general manager for planning, said that, on February 1, commuters can opt to ride the point-to-point (P2P) buses to shorten the queue in stations of the MRT.

He said that the express bus system, as an alternative mode of public transport, will be offered to commuters for only P15 from Ortigas in Mandaluyong to Ayala in Makati.

Garcia noted that MRT Line 3 management has limited the average number of running trains from 15 last year to between eight and 11 this January to avoid or reduce involuntary offloading incidents due to mechanical glitches.

Earlier, I-ACT expanded its TBTU campaign to the peripheral routes of Metro Manila.

I-ACT head Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure and concurrent Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Thomas Orbos said that TBTU would be implemented not just in Metro Manila.

“In fact, even more outside Metro Manila, as there are more violations, it seems, in areas outside metro manila. The sad part is there are more accidents due to unroadworthy vehicles outside the metropolis,” he said.

He added that the government would be remiss if it continue to allow the commuters to ride in dilapidated jeepneys.