Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) — Some 300 modern jeepneys will ply 15 routes in Metro Manila starting Monday as the region enters its 22nd day under a relaxed general community quarantine.
At least 318 modern jeepney units deemed compliant have been allowed to ply these 15 routes:
1. Novaliches – Malinta via Paso de Blas
2. Bagumbayan Taguig – Pasig via San Joaquin
3. Fort Bonifacio Gate 3 – Guadalupe-Market Market-ABC Loop Service
4. Pandacan – Leon Guinto
5. Quezon Avenue – LRT 5th Avenue Station
6. Cubao (Diamond) – Roces Super Palengke
7. EDSA Buendia-Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter, Rockwell
8. Divisoria-Gasak via H. Lopez
9. Punta-Quiapo via Sta. Ana
10. Boni Pinatubo – Stop and Shop, vice versa
11. Boni Robinson’s Complex-Kalentong/JRC vice versa
12. Nichols-Vito Cruz
13. Filinvest City Loop
14. Alabang Town Center (ATC)-Ayala Alabang Village
15. Vito Cruz Taft Avenue-PITX Loop Service
This is only the first part of the second phase of reopening public transport in Metro Manila. More routes are set to be opened within the week.
Nine routes to be opened on June 24, Wednesday:
1. Bagong Silang - SM Fairview
2. Malanday - Divisoria via M.H. del Pilar
3. Parang, Marikina – Cubao
4. Eastwood, Libis - Capitol Commons
5. Gasak - Recto via Dagat-dagatan
6. PITX – Lawton
7. Alabang – Zapote
8. PITX – Nichols
9. PITX - SM Southmall
Ten routes to be opened on June 26, Friday:
1. Quirino Highway - UP Town Center
2. SM Fairview - Commonwealth via Regalado Ave.
3. QMC Loop
4. Tikling - Binangonan
5. Antipolo - Pasig via East Bank Road
6. Rosario - Pinagbuhatan Pasig
7. West Avenue - P. Noval via Del Monte
8. Biñan - Balibago via Manila South Road
9. Tramo - Sucat
10. San Isidro - Congressional Junction Dasmarinas
Despite the gradual increase in number of available public transportation, modern jeeps can ferry only up to 20 to 50 percent of passenger capacity to ensure the one-meter physical distance rule. Passengers must be seated one seat apart and no standing passengers will be allowed. Seats to be occupied by passengers must be properly marked in the vehicle.
The minimum fare for both non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned public utility jeepneys remains ₱11 for the first four kilometers. However, non-air-conditioned units shall collect ₱1.50 for every succeeding kilometer, while air-conditioned jeeps will charge ₱1.80 instead.
Jeepney operators must also provide their vehicles means for cashless fare payments such as electronic systems like GCash, Paymaya, and Squidpay, particularly if these don't have machines where passengers can tap their Beep cards.
Modern jeepneys must also be equipped with GNSS (global navigation satellite system) or GPS (global positioning system) for easier contact tracing efforts.
UV Express units are expected to be allowed to ply the roads once after all modern jeepney routes are opened. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said at least 55,000 traditional jeepney drivers remain at the bottom of the public transport "hierarchy."
"Hihintayin ang full deployment ng modern PUV bago ang UV Express. Once fully deployed at kulang pa rin ang supply, we will consider deploying trad jeepneys," he said in a media briefing.
Meanwhile, the operations of provincial buses remain suspended.
National Center for Commuter Safety and Protection Chairperson Elvira Medina said the mass transportation landscape has been completely reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, but transport groups are ready to comply and help the government come up with guidelines that will ensure the safety of the drivers and the riding public.
"There are now moves towards that direction in order to see that all our commuters still be safe, more especially in the Metro as most of the commuters are in. As I've been saying before, these are birth pains, we are still working also with government in order to straighten up the glitches," she told CNN Philippines on Monday.
Mass transportation had been suspended for more than two months since Luzon and other parts of the country were placed under enhanced community quarantine in mid-March to curb the spread of COVID-19. In the first phase of reopening mass transport in Metro Manila, only trains, augmentation buses, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Service like Grab, shuttle services, point-to-point buses and bicycles were allowed to return to roads to ferry passengers from June 1 to 21.