MODERN JEEPNEY.  One of the 23 modernized jeepneys that started plying the Novaliches-Malinta route on Nov. 8, 2019. The modern jeepneys are part of the Duterte administration's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). (PNA photo by Severino Samonte)


MANILA -- More commuters in Metro Manila can now enjoy the modern jeepney under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

This after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-National Capital Region (LTFRB-NCR) under the supervision of lawyer Zona Russet Tamayo launched last Friday an initial 23 units of modernized jeepneys along the Novaliches-Malinta route connecting Novaliches in Quezon City and Valenzuela City.

The modernized jeepneys are operated by the Novaliches-Malinta Jeepney Transport Service Cooperative (NMJTSC) headed by Helen Viloria.

Viloria said each unit has a seating capacity of 26 plus 10 to 15 standing passengers.

The modern jeepneys, which ply the Novaliches-Malinta route 24 hours daily, have terminals at the Shop and Ride Site in Barangay Novaliches Proper and near the old Valenzuela City Hall along MacArthur Highway in Barangay Malinta.

Viloria said passengers are to be charged a minimum fare of PHP11 and PHP19 for the straight ride of nine kilometers from Novaliches to Valenzuela. Senior citizens, students and persons with disabilities (PEDs) are given 20 percent discount.

She said the initial 23 modernized jeepneys will eventually be increased to 124 units, as determined through a survey to be conducted by the PUVMP partners.

The commuters hailed the operation of the air-conditioned jeepney units as these provide them comfortable and safe travel and protection from snatchers and drunk passengers.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) launched the PUVMP in 2017 with the goal of replacing old and dilapidated jeepneys to make the country’s public transportation system efficient and environment-friendly by 2020.

It also aims to give drivers and operators of public utility vehicles regular, enough, and decent income.

Among the PUVMP partners are the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Transportation Office, LTFRB, and DOTr. (PNA)