LTFRB deploys 22 more buses for health workers, Apors free ride

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THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7, on Thursday, May 6, 2021, launched and deployed 22 additional public utility buses (PUBs) to service healthcare workers and authorized persons outside of residence (Apor) or essential workers in Cebu for free under the second scheme of the free-ride contracting service.

This time, the LTFRB 7 partnered with the MyBus which then allocated five units for healthcare workers with route Naga to University of Cebu (UC) Medical Center in Mandaue City and another 17 units, initially, for APORs and essential workers.

Oliver Pulanco, general manager of MyBus, said the 17 bus units for Apor and essential workers will follow the following routes: Talisay City to Parkmall (via South Road Properties or SRP); Talisay City to Parkmall (via N. Bacalso), and Talisay City to Mactan Cebu International Airport (via SRP.)

"They (target passengers) should just present their identification card. We are encouraging the health workers and the Apor to please wear their IDs already so we can save time during the loading of passengers," he said.

He said, initially, they will follow the 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. schedule of trips.

Eduardo Montealto, Jr., LTFRB 7 director, earlier, said the agency first deployed 10 Ceres buses to exclusively ferry healthcare workers in Cebu for free last April 16.

While on Wednesday, May 5, the LTFRB 7 also launched the free ride service for Apor and essential workers by deploying 54 units of modern public utility jeepney to various routes.

Aside from the 86 units of buses and MPUJs, he said, they will also be deploying six additional buses for healthcare workers within this week.

"We will provide free ride in all routes. The free ride still observes the 75 percent maximum seating capacity provided they have barriers (acrylic plastic)," he said.

Random inspection will also be conducted and regular disinfection of the units will be made.

The government will provide an incentive of P45 for every kilometer covered by a participating MPUJ while P82.50 per kilometer covered to public utility buses; of which, 30 percent goes to the driver and 70 percent goes to the operator.

Aside from these, the DOTr said, the government will also be giving a one-time onboarding payment of P20,000 for those that operated under the program from May 1 to June 15 (the initial target end date of the program) and a weekly incentive of P7,000 if these units have operated for at least five days per week.

Montealto, however, said they will just be limiting the number of participating MPUJs and buses to at least 100 so as not to hamper the operation of the other regular-operating drivers. (WBS)