23K TNVS, taxis resume operations as lockdown eases in MM
Around 23,000 transport network vehicle services and taxis have been allowed to ply Metro Manila as the National Capital Region goes under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Last Friday, mobile transport app Grab announced that they have at least 20,000 driver-partners that are ready to operate under the "new normal."
Over the course of the weekend, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory (LTFRB) announced that aside from the more than 5,000 taxis and TNVS that have been legally operating during the lockdown, they have also come out with the more than 17,000 list of drivers that can run during GCQ.
The board said that the a total of 23,067 units can now ferry passengers around Metro Manila—which is composed of 18,629 TNVS and 44,438 taxis.
The said public utility vehicles will operate in compliance to Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-018— also known as “Guidelines for the Operations of Taxis and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) during the Period of GCQ.”
During the resumption of operatives, the agency reminded that their will be no price surge on the fare and that mode of payment shall only be cashless.
Aside from that, passengers that shall board the vehicle must wear face masks at all times.
The LTFRB reminded operators and drivers to strictly follow the guidelines under the issued memorandum to avoid the spreading of the dreaded virus. These includes wearing of facemasks and gloves, disinfecting of their respective units before and after every trip, or every two hours, placing transparent dividers and conform to the passenger seating capacity based on the guidelines of Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Prior to the government announcement, Grab urged the board to increase their drivers that were initially-approved to operate.
As of Saturday, Grab claimed that 2,025 out of the 31,000 drivers were allowed to serve commuters.
"While this is a minimal number compared to the number of legally operating TNVS before the implementation of ECQ, we understand the need to be prudent in gradually resuming public transportation to protect both the lives and livelihoods of our kababayans," it noted.
Moreover, the mobile transport app said that they will cut the commissions of drivers for the first week.
"To encourage these drivers to maximize their time on the road, and to be able to serve the projected volume of commuters coming from the reopening of more industries, Grab - on the first week, will be reducing its commissions for all the driver-partners who are part of the validated list issued by the LTFRB, thus allowing these drivers to earn more during this period. Grab will also dedicate the entire commission from the first week to fully subsidize the sanitation and hygiene kits for these driver-partners," Grab explained.
Grab claimed that TNVS "readily supports the safety and hygiene standards, and contact tracing protocols of the government."
They cited that that TNVS already has cashless and contactless payment methods and that" tens of thousands of Grab drivers are already certified with the new safety and hygiene standards".
After more than two months that the government has placed Metro Manila under community quarantine, officials are still urging people to remain at home if they could.
Last week, Grab has launched GrabProtect Initiative.
Photos from Department of Transportation and Brian Cu Facebook pages