RETURN OF PUJS. Left photo shows the one-stop traditional PUJ application hub along the corner of Xiamen and Logarta streets in North Reclamation Area, Cebu City where the jeepneys are inspected before they are allowed to go back to the streets. Task Force Balik Pasada head Councilor James Cuenco on Friday (Nov. 20, 2020) said all systems are in place for the return of traditional PUJs after a long period of hiatus due to Covid-19 crisis. (Photo courtesy of Cebu City Jeepney Task Force)
CEBU CITY – All systems are in place for the return of traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJ) in this city after a long period of hiatus due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, an official said on Friday.
Councilor James Cuenco, the designated head of the Task Force Balik Pasada of the city government, said the body has conducted a physical inspection on the 170 units of traditional jeepneys that applied to join the special travels under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The 84 PUJs plying the Lahug routes underwent check-up on Friday morning at the one-stop inspection hub along the corner of Xiamen and Logarta streets in the North Reclamation Area.
The other 86 units that will ply the Guadalupe routes also underwent similar check-up in the area.
“Today, our commuting public will have a taste again of our traditional PUJs. We do everything to mitigate the inconvenience of the riding public,” Cuenco said in a radio interview.
Meanwhile, Cuenco said only 53 of the 200 drivers who submitted for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test last week have gotten their results.
He said that of the 53, only 50 drivers will be permitted to operate their PUJ again, as the remaining three were tested positive of Covid-19.
Land Transportation Office (LTO-7) chief, Victor Emmanuel Caindec, on Friday said the Department of Transportation, through his office, will assist local government units like Cebu City in their effort to roll out public transport after a long period of suspension due to the pandemic.
Apart from Cebu City traditional jeepneys, Caindec said the LTO-7 also assisted in checking the road-worthiness of the units permitted by the LGUs of the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Naga and the towns of Liloan and Consolacion.
The LTO-7 is also inspecting traditional PUJs in some other parts of Central Visayas, he said.
Caindec said the LTO supports the re-opening of public transport considering the vast number of commuters that are seen in bus stops and boundaries during the morning and afternoon.
These commuters, he said, are finding it hard with limited seats of buses and modern jeepneys which are the only public transport permitted during community quarantine.
The traditional PUJs should be covered with special permit to operate from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7) before they can pick up passengers, he added. (PNA)