SOME 15 units of modern jeepneys will start plying the streets of Cagayan de Oro on June 30, 2020, after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) approved its route from Bugo to Igpit, Opol in Misamis Oriental via the coastal bypass road.
This development came after the Oro Transport Service Cooperative received the green light to operate the first batch of modern jeepneys under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
The new units will replace the classic jeepneys that the public have been accustomed to for decades.
A modern jeepney is complete with GPS monitoring system, WiFi, airconditioner, among others.
But fare is higher at P10 from the current P7.50 regular fare to P10, and will increase further by up to P4.00 for every succeeding kilometer.
The 23-seater new jeepney units are classified as type Class 2 vehicles.
As the government prepares for change in public transport, LTFRB-Northern Mindanao Director Aminoden Guro said the modernization program will not cause a total phaseout of jeepneys in the city.
Guro said the number of new units are only 15, so old jeepneys are still allowed to ply the city streets, provided that they pass the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
He said the LTFRB will allow the extension of the jeepney franchise if they pass the MVIS, a road worthiness test.
"Pwede pa ma-extend ang franchise sa jeepneys provided nga makapasar sila sa MVIS without any human intervention. I-check ang brakes, lights, tanan," Guro said.
This setup was approved as transition to the new public transport system will be implemented nationwide, Guro said.
Guro clarified that the government won't leave displaced jeepney drivers behind, pointing out that scholarships will be offered to the families of the drivers and operators.
Jeepney drivers who are members of a cooperative will be prioritized in the scholarship grant.
"Naay priority rule, kung ikaw ang driver or operator ani nga route, walay pwede musulod diha kun dili ikaw. Pero kung dili mo molihok, pwede naay lain cooperative musulod so we are encouraging drivers and operators to form a cooperative and apply for a franchise of our modern jeepneys," he said.
The first batch of jeepneys, manufactured by Hino, will be shown to the public on December 11 and will offer free rides.
LTFRB earlier vowed that all old PUV units will no longer be allowed to operate after June 30, 2020.