(File photo)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) may open 50 more public transportation routes in the National Capital Region (NCR) due to increasing demand.

In a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday, LTFRB Board Member Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes said a total of 100 routes have recently been opened to address the rising demand, with the LTFRB continuing to study and evaluate the possibility of reopening or adding more routes.

Sa mga nakaraang meeting po namin, ang pagkakaalam ko po ay maglalabas po tayo ulit, siguro po mga around 50 additional routes po ang io-open natin (In our past meetings, I think we’re planning on adding more, maybe 50 additional routes),” Leynes said.

She noted that the LTFRB may reopen these routes within the week.

The recent fare increase and reopening of more routes, she said, are to help those working in the public transportation industry.

Maliban po diyan, mayroon po tayong mga pinag-aaralan na mungkahi tungkol doon sa pagdagdag ng taon doon sa kanilang mga prangkisa sa kadahilanan na may mga pampublikong sasakyan talaga tayo na hindi pinayagang makalabas noong pandemya (Aside from that, we are looking into adding more years into their franchises because many PUVs were not allowed to operate during the pandemic),” she said.

The LTFRB may also waive franchise-related penalties for affected PUV drivers and operators.

These efforts, she said, will serve as permanent and not “band-aid” solutions to challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic and the continued rise in fuel prices.

Dito natin sinimulan iyong step para tulungan na maiangat at maibalik sa, at least, seemingly normal iyong operation ng ating PUVs (This is how we took the first step to help improve, or at least restore, the normal operation of PUVs),” she said.

On Friday, the LTFRB announced a permanent increase in the minimum fare and per kilometer charge in jeepneys, buses, taxis, and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) which takes effect on Oct. 3.

It reminded PUV drivers and operators to post a valid fare matrix in their vehicles before charging the new fares and warned of fines and penalties for implementing the new fares too soon. (PNA)