As various areas in the country prepares to shift from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), the ‘NEW NORMAL’ DOTr has released the updated Public Transport Guidelines and Protocols.
For public transportation in areas under GCQ, stringent sanitary measures have been set, and will be strictly enforced, such as:
. Wearing of face masks at all times
. Implementation of no-contact measures such as cashless payments.
. Use of thermal scanners
. Availability of alcohol and sanitizers in Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs)
. Disinfection of high-touch surfaces of vehicles
. Establishment of disinfection facilities in various public transport terminals
. Contact Tracing
There will be two phases to be executed for allowing the operation of the different modes of public transportation.
For the Phase 1 (covering June 1 to 21)
. Trains and bus augmentation, taxis, TNVS, shuttle services, Point-to-Point buses, and bicycles will be allowed to operate, with LIMITED PASSENGER CAPACITY.
. NO provincial buses will be allowed to enter Metro Manila.
. Tricycles will also be allowed, subject to the prior approval of the concerned LGU.
For Phase 2 (covering June 22 to 30)
. Public Utility Buses (PUBs), Modern PUVs, and UV Express will already be allowed to operate, also with limited passenger capacity, along with the initial set of transport modes that were allowed to operate during Phase 1.
The 1-meter social distance rule between persons will be strictly enforced inside ALL the PUVs and mass transport units, in adherence to health protocols. Just to ensure and monitor the limited capacity and passenger load of all the public transport vehicles.
The Use of Technology
The Modernization Initiatives will be implemented including an automatic fare collection system (AFCS) for cashless payment transactions, electronic toll collection, and GNSS/GPS. The DOTr will likewise vigorously pursue and promote online transactions in licensing, registration and other documentary requirements.
This is set to be run in NCR starting on June 1,2020,Developed by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board that will be adopted is the Public Transport Online Processing System. This system will allow transactions to be made online, except the publication and hearing of cases—which will make LTFRB services faster and accessible for all its stakeholders.
Other institutional changes which the DOTr will implement in the ‘NEW NORMAL’ transition, and they are as follows:
. Routes Rationalization for a more effective traffic management;
. Industry Consolidation, to make it more efficient and financially tenable for stakeholders;
. The use of shuttle services to prevent students and employees from contracting the virus, will also be encouraged;
. Promotion of the use of non-motorized transport or use of bicycles, to maintain physical distancing, provide environmental and health benefits and promote efficient road space use
In a GCQ setting, the DOTr is also set to adopt a system in EDSA where dedicated lanes will be set forth for buses. In addition, the transformation of EDSA will include designated lanes for Bikes, as well as the putting up of Pedestrian Crossing and Bus Boarding Areas in strategic places.