A cooperative of jeepney drivers and operators has unveiled last Thursday the modern jeepneys that will soon traverse the city’s streets after being granted a provisional authority by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
The Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperative (CBSTC) – the first association of drivers and operators to consolidate – will operate the jeepneys, which will cover the Aurora Hill, Trancoville, and Dominican Hill routes.
CBSTC Board Director Joseph Guanzo, Jr. said the first 15 units that arrived in Baguio last Tuesday only cover the Aurora Hill-Trancoville route. Fifty-nine more units will soon be delivered by the manufacturer, Durabuilt, where 22 units will be deployed at the Dominican Hill route.
The modern jeeps, which cost P2,163,000 each, was financed partially by the Landbank of the Philippines.
In compliance with the PUV Modernization Program, the modern jeeps are spacious, have Euro 4 engines, equipped with a CCTV camera, GPS, exits at the right side of the vehicle, and will soon be installed with a device for automated payment.
Instead of the “boundary system,” the drivers will be paid a minimum wage of P600 to P700 daily.
The modernization program calls for the phasing-out of jeepneys, buses, and other PUVs 15 years or older to be replaced with more comfortable and more environment-friendly vehicles.
The program also aims to eliminate the individual franchising system by introducing a fleet management system.
Drivers will also be professionalized through periodic instruction on traffic and transportation laws and regulations.
If allowed to operate, the same health protocols will be followed and the same fare rates will be collected.
The CBSTC was also granted a franchise to operate in Tabuk City, Kalinga; Tuguegarao City; Mountain Province; and Bokod, Benguet. – Rimaliza A. Opiña