LTFRB adds routes, issues permits to more public vehicles for school reopening 

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COMMUTERS line up at a jeepney stop along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Aug. 8. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL PALMA

THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced on Wednesday that it will open more routes and allow more public utility vehicles (PUVs) to operate in the capital region in preparation for the resumption of face-to-face classes. 

This is to accommodate the expected increase in demand as students return to campuses, LTFRB Chairperson Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said during a virtual briefing.  

The Education department has said around 90% of public schools are expected to start face-to-face classes on Aug. 22 while some private schools have already reopened.   

The Transport regulator issued two separate memorandum circulars outlining the rules for the resumption of operations of non-EDSA bus routes, as well as the resumption of operations of more traditional and modern jeepneys and utility vehicle express (UVE) service.  

A total of 133 routes will be opened — 68 for jeepneys, 32 for UVEs, and 33 for buses.  

Temporary special permits will be issued to operators to immediately allow enough PUVs to service such routes, according to Ms. Garafil.  

“When the situation normalizes, we will issue franchises,” she said in mixed English and Filipino.   

She said the agency is “confident that these routes will be enough.”  

“With respect to the 133 routes, there will be 11,000 vehicles, and most of them will pass through the University Belt or areas with many students,” she also noted. — Arjay L. Balinbin