Lack of drivers delays Beep Cebu’s return

File photo
File photo

MODERN jeepneys operated by Beep Cebu were again supposed to ply the streets of Metro Cebu last April 2024; however, the lack of drivers has stalled the transport company’s plan to resume its operations.

Beep Cebu had temporarily suspended operations for six months starting Oct. 1, 2023 citing, among others, the lack of spare parts for their units due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The company’s operations officer Michael Baldo told SunStar in an interview on Monday, May 27, that one of the main reasons for not being able to resume business was their “lack of manpower” to run their 17 modern jeepneys that are functional.

Baldo said out of the estimated 50 drivers they had last year, only 13 confirmed that they would be returning to work.

“We were planning to go back to operations, but only a few drivers confirmed to come back. Other drivers did not respond or they already have new jobs,” said Baldo in Cebuano.

He said some of their drivers also chose to transfer to a different transport cooperative.

Beep Cebu is reaching out to their employees hoping to get back on track within May, 30 days late from the company’s expected resumption.

Baldo said Beep Cebu also has to book a schedule with the Cebu City Transportation Office for the re-orientation of their drivers.

Although Beep Cebu has a total of 54 modern jeepneys, 20 units manufactured in Russia have missing spare parts, while three others are under repair.

Of the 31 units that are working, 14 are affected by route changes from the ongoing construction of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) and only 17 can currently ply the streets.

The ongoing CBRT construction has affected Beep Cebu’s route from Guadalupe to Carbon.

Baldo said the company also incurred losses as a result of special permits given to other rival modern public utility jeepneys plying Cebu City Hall to IT Park in Barangay Apas and Banawa to Sitio Panagdait in Barangay Kasambagan. / DPC

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