November 29, 2023

■ Jane B. Cadalig

The City Engineer’s Office is eyeing the possibility of allotting dedicated lanes for public utility jeepneys to address the concern of commuters who endure long queues during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

CEO Traffic Division Engr. II Thea Camiring said the office is considering the possibility of setting up dedicated lanes for PUJs to spare them from getting caught in traffic congestions and be able to serve commuters during rush hours.

Camiring said they are eyeing the setting up of PUJ lanes at the outer lanes of Palispis-Aspiras and Quirino Highways, which are among the routes burdened by traffic gridlock.

She said this is one of the measures they have come up with to help alleviate the plight of commuters who are caught in long lines in the morning for school and work and during dismissal in the afternoon.

Camiring, however, said the proposal cannot be implemented at once as it needs further studies and will require resources.

“We need an ordinance to implement this because we need to define what sanctions will be imposed for those that will not observe the PUJ lanes. Another is, we need to allot budget in setting up PUJ lanes,” she said.

The CEO is cognizant of the plight of commuters, which is why the office is doing its best to come up with remedies to address these concerns.

CEO has also just submitted to the Department of Transportation the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) and they are waiting for the agency’s feedback. The LPTRP is a plan that details the route network, mode, and number of units needed, which is the basis for the issuance offranchises for public utility vehicles to serve a certain area.

Camiring said they are hoping that once the LTPRP is returned, the city council will adopt it into an ordinance within the year. This is also seen to address the concern of commuters who complain about the lack of PUJs serving them.

She reiterated the call for PUJ associations to extend their hours of operations as long as there are passengers waiting for a ride home night.

The city council has also been requesting PUJ associations to extend their operations until 10 p.m. to serve commuters working in establishments that close at these hours.