Cebu PUVs ordered to return to original routes Monday

STARTING Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, all public utility vehicles (PUVs) in Cebu will be required to go back to their original routes that were implemented during the pre-pandemic period as the situation now goes back to normal.

This was announced by Eduardo Montealto Jr., director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB 7), saying the special travel permits will no longer be honored soon.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus disease outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

Montealto said that under the new directive, local government units will be required to submit to their office their respective Local Public Transportation Route Plans (LPTRP), which will determine the number of passengers, including transients or those coming from other places who are studying or working in their area.

“Ang atong LGU (local government unit) karon ongoing ang crafting sa ilang mga LPTRP. So maglisod sila sa ridership survey ug ihap kung dili ta mobalik sa daan nato nga existing nga ruta,” Montealto said.

(The LGUs are currently crafting their LPTRP. So it will be hard for them to count the passengers in the ridership survey if we don’t go back to their old routes).

“Since nibalik naman ang tanan kadtong mga pasahero pre-pandemic, kinahanglan nila to kuhaon pila ang nearest ato nga ridership, pila ang insakto kay aron mabuhat nila ang LPTRP,” Montealto said.

(Because the passengers during the pre-pandemic period have already returned, they need to get the nearest ridership number, or the exact number if possible so they can create the LPTRP).

Montealto said the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Naga and the municipality of Cordova have already made their LPTRP, while the LPTRPs of other LGUs are already 70 percent complete.

He said once all LPTRPs are done, additional modern public utility vehicles can already be deployed in their respective routes.

The LTFRB expects the LGUs to finish their ridership survey in 15 days.

Currently, most PUVs are operating using the special permits that allow them to travel longer distances in Metro Cebu than they were allowed to under their usual routes, Montealto said.

According to him, this method is advantageous to passengers since they don’t have to take more rides to get to their destination, but not favorable to the drivers who did not secure special permits and must ply the usual short distances.

The old system gave passengers a headache as they had to transfer from one PUV to another before arriving at their destination.

“Passengers usually prefer to ride PUVs with special permits as they would be brought directly to their destination, which is disadvantageous to (drivers of) existing routes,” Montealto said in Cebuano.

Montealto asks for cooperation from the public regarding the changes.

LTFRB 7 data on March 2022 show that there were 1,030 modern jeepneys and 1,000 traditional jeepneys (TPUJ) plying Cebu roads.

Lapu-Lapu City

The return of PUVs to their original routes won’t result in a heavy traffic situation in Lapu-Lapu City.

This was what Mario Napuli, head of the City Traffic Management System (CTMS), told SunStar Cebu.

This would not become a problem for as long as the PUV drivers follow their routes.

Napuli said only a few TPUJs remain in Lapu-Lapu City considering that majority have already converted to MPUJs.

But the CTMS head admitted that the city is also experiencing heavy traffic in some areas, including in Barangay Basak, Mactan Economic Zone and near the schools.

He said such scenario can be experienced during rush hour particularly from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and during the class dismissals and end of work shifts around 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Napuli, however, said heavy traffic cannot be controlled since the city has smaller or narrow roads. (ANV / TPT, MKG)