The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to issue a memorandum circular (MC) containing the guidelines for the rationalization of the routes of public utility buses (PUB) in a bid to curb out-of-line or colorum operations.
The said MC also aims to ensure that there is enough authorized bus units plying a particular route to serve commuters.
“Sa aming pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga affected na bus operators, nabuo namin ang implementing guidelines para i-rationalize ang mga existing routes at upang makapagtalaga ng sapat na mga bilang ng units para sa ruta na maraming pasaherong sumasakay [In our consultations with affected bus operators, we formed the implementing guidelines for the rationalization of existing routes and designate a sufficient number of bus units to ply routes used by many commuters],” LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said.
The LTFRB, however, noted that no new franchises would be issued to bus operators in the process of rationalizing bus routes.
Ginez, moreover, said that since bus operators are more flexible in responding to passenger demand, they will be allowed to file a petition to modify existing authorized routes to meet current and future passenger needs
The changes may involve either shortening or lengthening their routes depending on passenger demand.
In addition, under the guidelines, bus operators must maintain their own passenger terminal or common passenger bus terminal in the origin and destination points of their proposed modified routes.
The MC will also implement the “prior operator” rule which requires the LTFRB to give a prior bus operator servicing a particular route the chance to improve its service to meet passenger needs before permitting a new operator to ply the same route.
The said rule, however, will not apply if the LTFRB determines that public interest would be better served by admitting a new operator. This happens when a prior operator consistently fails to render adequate, sufficient and satisfactory service.
Furthermore, in amending their routes, the bus operators must not totally abandon their authorized routes. The modification of routes shall also be subject to the establishment of the Integrated Transport System of the government.
Bus operators are given 180 days to substitute their phased-out units from the date of the decision approving the modification of their rationalized routes.
In order to file a petition to modify their authorized routes, bus operators must meet requirements as stated in the MC.
“With this rationalization of routes, we will be able to solve the out-of-line [services]that [have]been illegally practiced by some PUB operators. Magkakaroon na rin tayo ng kaayusan sa ating mga lansangan para na rin sa convenience and safety ng publiko [We will finally have order in our streets for the convenience and safety of the public],” Ginez said.