MORE traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) are expected to ply their old routes in Cebu City after Mayor Edgardo Labella issued Executive Order 131 on Thursday, May 27, 2021, which reopens all their inter- and intra-city routes.
The mayor said that he based his decision on the Jeepney Task Force’s (JFT) recommendation to address the growing demand for public transportation two months ago yet.
City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, JTF chairman, said the public will be “greatly relieved” by the development, especially those who live in areas not served by existing TPUJs and other modes of public transportation.
“I supposed this should be the start of the end of the endless suffering sa atong (of our) commuters,” said Cuenco.
He said more than 30 TPUJ routes reopened when the mayor’s EO took effect on May 27.
Cebu City has a total of 60 TPUJ routes of which only 23 initially opened.
City Transportation Office (CTO) spokesman Paul Gotiong said 532 TPUJs currently ply the city’s streets.
Operators of TPUJs must comply with requirements before the units will be allowed to return to the streets, Gotiong said.
A TPUJ unit will be checked for roadworthiness, barriers and a drop box for the fare, disinfectant and a poster listing health protocols. The unit must also undergo and pass an emission test.
If it passes the inspection, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7 will issue a special permit and the CTO will issue a travel line.
Drivers will be issued an identification card after they attend a seminar to be conducted by the CTO, he said.
Gotiong said the CTO and the Land Transportation Office 7 have been monitoring TPUJs and other public utility vehicles to ensure the implementation of health protocols.
He said they’ve already called the attention of drivers who were caught overloading.
Meanwhile, Cuenco said opening more TPUJ routes will address the concern of buses being pulled out from the city to return to their original routes in the province.
The mayor, for his part, reminded both drivers and passengers not to be complacent and to continue following health protocols while in transit. (JJL)