Councilors seek fines for erring Beep and PUJ drivers, commuters

PUBLIC utility jeepneys (PUJs) and Beep passengers and drivers, watch out.

Getting on or off a PUJ or Beep outside the designated stops in Cebu City would mean up to P3,000 in fines for passengers if the ordinance proposed by City Councilors Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Raul Alcoseba is approved.

The councilors want to establish proper PUJ and Beep terminals and stops to instill discipline among the commuters and operators.

The proposed ordinance entitled, “Jeepney and Beep Terminals and Stops in the City of Cebu,” aims to improve the public transportation system in the city and penalize erring jeepney and Beep drivers, operators and passengers.

Jeepney and Beep drivers who load and unload passengers at non-designated stops will pay a fine of P500 on the first offense, P1,500 on the second offense and P3,000 on the third offense.

On the fourth offense, the driver’s license will be suspended for six months and the operator will pay a fine of P5,000.

As for passengers who alight at non-designated jeepney and Beep stops, they will have to attend a seminar on traffic rules and regulations on the first offense.

On the second offense, they will pay a fine of P1,000, and P2,000 on the third offense.

The ordinance was introduced to the council a month after the City Government received complaints that some Beep drivers picked up and dropped off passengers wherever they wanted.

The council referred the proposed ordinance to the committee on laws.

Gabuya and Alcoseba said PUJs and Beeps have designated routes but don’t have designated stops.

In areas where there are loading and unloading bays and stops, most Beep and jeepney drivers do not use them, the two councilors observed.

Under Section 6 of the ordinance, within one year from its effectivity, the Cebu City Transportation Office should establish PUJ and Beep stops along the usual routes.

The stops should have a waiting shed with proper signages indicating the route of the PUJ and Beeps.

It should also indicate the penalties for those who will violate the ordinance.

The PUJ and Beep stops should not be less than 100 meters from each other.

Areas where commuters converge, such as those fronting schools, hospitals, churches and City Hall, should be considered in identifying the loading and unloading areas.

Proper loading and unloading areas must be established to avoid causing disruptions in traffic flow, Alcoseba and Gabuya said.

As stated in the ordinance, the City should allocate funds for the construction of the waiting sheds and terminals with signages.

The 40 units of blue air-conditioned coasters called Beep started plying the city’s streets in December 2018.

It plies two routes—Cebu City Hall to Cebu IT Park and the Guadalupe-Panagdait route. (JJL)