LTFRB summons 6 companies after ‘window-hour’ scheme confusion

Araneta Center Bus Station

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued a show cause order (SCO) on six companies following the mix-up on the “window hour” scheme imposed on provincial buses.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When is the meeting among the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the bus companies?

    The meeting is set for May 10.
  • Which provincial bus companies are involved in the meeting?

    The provincial bus companies that have been summoned are Victory Liner, Genesis Transport Services, Bataan Transit, Five Star Bus, First North Luzon Transit, and Maria de Leon.
  • The SCO issued late last week was against Victory Liner, Inc.; Genesis Transport Services, Inc.; Bataan Transit Bus Co., Inc.; Five Star Bus, Inc.; First North Luzon Transit, Inc.; and Maria de Leon to file their respective answers and appear in the hearing set on May 10, 2022.

    The replies of the aforementioned transport firms need to explain why the franchises shall not be revoked for their failure to deploy their units last April 20, 2022.

    Araneta Center Bus Station

    The LTFRB said that according to the reports that they have received from its Region 3 office, thousands of commuters were left stranded in various terminals in Pampanga due to the refusal of provincial commuter bus operators to transport passengers to the Araneta Center Cubao Integrated Terminal Exchange (ITX) “as they insist on nighttime operations only from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. allegedly due to the ‘window hour scheme’ agreement they had with the MMDA.”

    In a statement, the LTFRB clarified the matter and said that the observance of the said agreement should not connote that those operations from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. are prohibited and only window hour operations from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. are allowed.

    MMDA PITX inspection

    The Board reiterated that the imposition of the window hour scheme only pertains to the use of their private terminal in EDSA and not a prohibition for them to operate and transport passengers to Metro Manila.

    The government agency cited LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-051, stating that authorized bus units for provincial commuter bus routes to the National Capital Region (NCR), to and from Region 3, shall load and unload passengers at Araneta Bus Port via Mindanao Avenue-Congressional Avenue Extension-Katipunan Avenue.

    PITX inspection of MMDA

    “Clearly, operations from Pampanga to NCR even during daytime is allowed and their insistence up to this day on their nighttime only operations connote willful refusal to perform their responsibilities as common carrier to transport passengers towards their destinations at any given time when there is demand,” the LTFRB noted.

    “Since there is no prohibition for them to transport passengers from Pampanga during daytime, it is clear that their foremost intention is to sabotage the continuous flow of public transportation and using the thousands of commuters as hostage to their demand for government regulators to approve their use of their private terminals anytime they want,” it added.

    Photos from Araneta Center, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority

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