(PNA file photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)

MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved the reopening of 43 pre-pandemic routes plied by 3,513 buses, jeepneys, and UV Express units (UVEs) as demand for public transportation continues to rise.

The routes are part of the Metro Manila Urban Transport Integration Study Update and Capacity Program (MUCEP), according to Memorandum Circular No. 2022-073 released by the LTFRB on Friday.

Previously, there were 98 existing pre-pandemic routes that were authorized to resume but were found “insufficient to cater to the existing and anticipated passenger demand.”

Of the 43 new routes, 11 will be run by traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJ), five routes for modern PUJs, six routes for traditional UVEs, one modern UVE route, and 20 routes for public utility buses.

In a Facebook post, the LTFRB said a total of 1,675 PUBs have been authorized to operate in 20 routes.

Ang pagbubukas ng mga naturang ruta ay pagtugon ng LTFRB sa pangangailangan ng pampublikong sasakyan sa gitna ng pandemya at pangkabuhayan ng mga (The reopening of these routes is the LTFRB’s response to the continued need for public transport amidst the pandemic and to support the livelihood of) PUV drivers,” the post read.

The LTFRB reminded PUV operators and drivers resuming services to follow the policies as prescribed in their Certificates of Public Convenience or face fines and penalties. (PNA)