• MMDA justifies petition for bus fare slash

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    THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Friday justified before the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) its petition seeking for the reduction of fare in Cavite and Batangas-bound public utility buses (PUBs).

    In justifying his petition, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the fare rollback is timely since PUBs’ operational and maintenance expenses have reduced with the operation of Southwest Interim Integrated Terminal (SIIT).

    “The bus companies are using the SIIT for free, it has been subsidized by the government. Their savings are sufficient enough to lower the fare,” said Tolentino.

    The MMDA, in its petition, is seeking an eight to 20 percent fare cut.

    “If the petition is approved, minimum fare for Cavite and Batangas buses could go down by at least P10,” he added.

    Tolentino said by availing of the SIIT facility, PUBs save up to 3.75 liters of fuel per trip since their travel time was cut and consequently avoiding severe traffic on their terminals in the city of Manila.

    Based on the current SIIT data, PUBs make at least four trips to and from the terminal per day on the average.

    “Hence, bus companies could save at least P600 per day on fuel consumption alone,” said Tolentino in his petition.

    He added that PUBs pay monthly terminal fees up to P240,000 while others pay P3,500 a day.

    By using the SITT amenities, the MMDA chief said, buses could save at least P2.8 million a year in terminal expenses. At 3,500 a day, bus companies would save at least P105,000 a month or 1.2 million a year in terminal or parking fees.

    Tolentino said reduction in route distance travelled translates to less wear and tear on the buses, thereby reducing expenses of bus companies in the maintenance of their PUB units.

    Four private citizens namely Ligaya Cagurangan, Rosita Dela Cruz, Anelita Abary and Lilibeth Pilola, also joined in the petition in their capacity as residents of Cavite and who stand to be directly affected by the outcome of the petition.

    The bus operators were given ample time to submit their comment or opposition to the LTFRB officials.

    With the opening of the SIIT, Cavite and Bantangas-bound PUBs were only allowed up to the new terminal in Parañaque City.

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