Transport authorities are set to inspect bus terminals in Metro Manila starting Monday in connection with preparations for a surge in the number of passengers traveling to the provinces to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Sunday said a team will be inspecting bus terminals from December 21 to 24 and December 28 to 30.
All public utility provincial buses (PUBs) with terminals in Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City; Pasay City; and Sampaloc, Manila will be inspected, according to the regulatory board.
It said units found to have violated LTFRB policies will be grounded and assessed for penalty under rules and regulations stipulated in their franchises.
The board has approved the applications of 301 provincial buses out of the 372 units that applied for special bus permits.
It said an additional 655 units with such permits will be allowed to operate during the Christmas break, with another 178 units waiting for approval.
There will also be help desks deployed in bus terminals in EDSA-Cubao, Araneta Center in Quezon City, Pasay City, EDSA Buendia in Makati City and Sampaloc, Manila, to monitor dispatching of buses, render assistance to passengers and receive and act on complaints against erring bus operators and terminals.
“These ocular checks are part of our regular routine inspections of provincial bus companies’ terminals and their fleet to ensure that their units are roadworthy before they ply their authorized routes,” LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said.
“We want to provide a safe, reliable and convenient travel for the riding public as they celebrate the Christmas holidays. Any bus unit with even the slightest defects will not be allowed to operate and will be penalized accordingly,” he added.
The LTFRB is also sending a team to taxi bays of shopping malls in Quezon City, Makati City and Mandaluyong City to randomly check on taxi drivers turning down passengers who want a ride to their desired destination.
It said the team will look into an increasing number of complaints against taxi drivers who refuse to give passengers a ride.
These taxi drivers will be penalized accordingly, the LTFRB added.
The LTFRB has a 24-hour hotline where commuters can report delinquent public utility vehicles (PUVs).
The nationwide hotline 1342 will entertain complaints pertaining to arrogant and reckless drivers, defective taxi meters and hit-and-run incidents.
The LTFRB also has a text-message and Viber hotlines where complainants can send pictures and video for evidence.
For Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers, the complainants can send their photos and videos to 0917-550-1342 while Smart, Talk n’ Text and Sun subcribers can send theirs to 0998-550-1342.
In filing a complaint, the LTFRB will ask those who call the hotlines if they are willing to attend a hearing.
If they are, the regulatory board will refer the complaint to its Legal Division for scheduling and issuance of summons to both complainant and respondent.
For complainants who do not want to attend a hearing, the LTFRB will send a Show Cause Order (SCO) or reprimand letter signed by the board chairman.
The LTFRB will ask the respondent to explain why the driver or the operator should not be sanctioned for the reported violation.
A response from the driver or operator must be received within five days from receipt of the SCO.
The complainant will also receive a copy of the SCO and the response letter of the respondent.
Sending of summons, SCOs and reprimand letters are coursed through the post office.