‘Fare increase ensures safety of commuters’

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


IF THE proposed fare increase would not be implemented, the safety of the riding public would be compromised, an official of Cebu's biggest transport group warned yesterday.

Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Citrasco-MPC) chairman Ryan Benjamin C. Yu said in an interview that the present minimum fare of P7.50 for the first five kilometers cannot keep up with the needed maintenance of public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

Yu said regular changing of the jeepney’s tires, spare parts and lubricants is necessary to ensure a safe ride for passengers.

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Citrasco-MPC filed last March a petition to increase the minimum PUJ fare to P10.

“(If the fare will not increase), maglisod ta og operate. Ang delikado diha (We will not be able to operate efficiently without an increase and that would mean risk) more on the riding public,” Yu said.

Maintenance

He said that operators might opt to forgo with proper maintenance to save cost.

He said operators are supposed to change the tires of their PUJs every four months. If tires are not replaced until they are threadbare, they might burst anytime or cause the vehicle to skid, especially when the roads are wet.

Prices of tires and spare parts, Yu said, have been increasing steadily.

Instead of stopping the fare increase, Yu asked the riding public to understand the situation.

“What we want the public to know is that we are not for a high fare,” Yu said, adding that the transportation sector will also be affected by it because the families of PUJ drivers are also commuters.

Yu recalled that in 2009 they petitioned for a fare reduction. From P8.50, it then decreased to P7 and then went up to P7.50.

Yu said they are still waiting for the schedule of a public hearing.

Early this month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Winston Ginez ordered the regional office to hold a public hearing on the fare increase petition.

“We are hoping that the general public will understand...we will stand by our justification,” Yu said.

Citrasco has 1,000 PUJ units and 80 percent of these operate within Metro Cebu.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

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