MODERN and electric jeepneys now have uniform fare rates, based on Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Memorandum Circular (MC) 2019-061 that took effect on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.
“While passengers shall pay for higher fare rates with the issuance of this memorandum circular, the benefits that shall be received in patronizing modern PUJ (public utility jeepney) and electric PUJ services shall be unquantifiable,” stated MC 2019-061, or “Fare Rates for Modern and Electric PUJ Services.”
Before its implementation, the fare for modern jeeps was P9.50 for the first five kilometers and P1.50 per succeeding kilometer.
Now, the minimum fare is still P9.50 but for the first four kilometers and P1.08 per succeeding kilometer.
According to LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr., the fare adjustment is not so big. Compared to other regions, the fare in Central Visayas is actually lower, he said.
He said they decided to make the fare uniform so operators of this new mode of transportation wouldn’t be shortchanged.
Based on MC 2019-061, the rate of non-air-conditioned e-jeeps and modern jeeps must be 20 percent higher than that of regular jeeps for the first four kilometers, but they will share the same rate for the succeeding kilometer.
For air-conditioned e-jeeps and modern jeeps, the rate must be 20 percent higher for the first four kilometers and 20 percent higher per succeeding kilometer compared to regular jeeps.
“Failure to observe the conditions set above shall be penalized under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01,” the memorandum stated.
Under JAO 2014-01, an operator who fails to put up a tariff inside the PUJ can face a fine of P5,000 for the first offense. For the second offense, the operator will face a fine of P10,000 and the unit will be impounded for 30 days. For the third offense, the fine is P15,000 and the operator’s certificate of public convenience will be canceled.
Montealto clarified that modern and electric jeeps that do not have tariffs cannot charge the new rate.
He said the tariff costs P50 each and can be bought at the LTFRB 7 office.
Some 178 modern jeepneys are running in Central Visayas.
In Cebu Province, 58 are in Cebu City, where the units are called Beeps (bus-jeeps). Star 8 operates 100 units in Lapu-Lapu City. Star 8 also operates 20 units in Panglao Island in Bohol.
The Cebu People’s Multipurpose Cooperative is expecting the arrival of 100 modern jeeps that will ply regular jeepney routes and an additional route to the mountain barangay
Meanwhile, some commuters welcomed the fare hike.
Diane, 31, an employee of an establishment at the Cebu IT Park, said she did not mind the increase since it wasn’t that much in the first place. Besides, the modern jeeps, or Beeps, are comfortable because these are air-conditioned, she said.
“For me, the fare is just about right. Anyway, the distances are not short. In fact, they’re quite far. It’s a P1 difference if you take the regular jeep,” she said in Cebuano.
She said Beeps get to their destinations quicker, adding that passengers don’t feel as much discomfort like the heat because the units are air-conditioned. (HBL, JCT / PJB)