TO address the traffic situation in the city due to the growing population and the increase in number of vehicles, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB) will be enforcing the carpool law, which is seen to help lessen road congestion.

Carpool, as defined in “The Carpool Act of 2014,” is “an arrangement among four people or more including the driver of a particular vehicle who would otherwise drive their own vehicle, to make a regular journey in a single vehicle instead.”

The Carpool Act of 2014 was approved last February 24, 2014 as a solution to the impending traffic problem in Metro Manila.

Carpools, or popularly known as ‘school or work’ buses, are to lessen vehicles on the road. Thus, traffic jams are less likely to happen.

In Cagayan de Oro City, carpool or school bus businesses have already been in operation for a long time already.

However, it was not immediately adapted by the public until lately when the city’s streets are becoming too congested.

Parents have carpools or school buses to pick up their children at their residences and to the school and then from the school, they are to be driven to their houses.

While this is a good way to lessen traffic and to assure students and employees to not be late, LTFRB-10 urges operators who engage in carpool and school bus businesses to secure legal franchise.

“We would like to reach out to the public, particularly, to operators to engage in school and work transport business," said Allan Guro, LTFRB-10 chief transport development officer, “However they should secure legal papers.”

Pursuant to Executive Order No. 202 and to the Public Service Act which aims to ensure safety and convenience of students and personnel, LTFRB requests all schools to make sure that the school bus or shuttle operated by the institution has a valid Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).

According to Guro, carpools that are legally operating will assure that the passenger’s safety is given consideration.

“Carpools are allowed to not get franchise as long as they drive free of charge,” he added.

For school transport services, standard classification of vehicle types is as follows: vans, particularly Mitsubishi L300, Nissan Urvan, Toyota Hi-Ace, Hyundai Starex, Kia Besta, Hyundai Grace, Kia Pregio MB 100 or its equivalent which holds 10 passengers, Jitneys, particularly Jeepneys, Mitsubishi L300 or L200 FB body, Isuzu IPV or its equivalent which can contain 12 to 20 passengers, Mini buses, with 30 to 49 passengers and buses with a capacity of 50 passengers or more.

In line with Oplan Balik Eskwela, LTFRB will conduct a massive inspection and apprehension of illegally operated school buses and shuttles. Letters are being sent to schools and institutions for them to be informed prior to the inspection.

LTFRB will also reach out to the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in each school to coordinate with them since this concerns their children and students.

The fine for those illegally operated carpool businesses is P200,000 and the vehicle will be impounded for three months.