Jimmy Bautista promises to address surge in transport demand with return of F2F classes

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will make adjustments to its existing land transport programs to serve the expected surge in passenger demand with the opening of face-to-face classes this year.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista directed road and railway agencies under the DOTr to ensure continuous implementation of the service contracting program and Libreng Sakay program, while fast-tracking at the same time the rationalization of public transport routes.

Bautista likewise called for the immediate release of P1,000 fuel subsidy to the target 617,806 qualified tricycle driver-beneficiaries as listed by the Department of Interior and Local Government, as well as the full deployment of all 550 buses especially during rush hours.

“We are also looking at accelerating the grant of franchise instead of just permits for buses on critical routes used by students such as Katipunan, Commonwealth, Recto Avenue,” Bautista said.

He is also set to meet with the bus consortium operating the EDSA Carousel route and other concerned government agencies.

According to Bautista, various studies conducted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown a low probability of virus transmission in public transport, as long as strict implementation of health and safety measures are in place and are being followed by the drivers, operators and commuters.