June 1, 2023

Exorbitant jeepney fares for Happy Hallow passengers

This concerns the complaints of passengers against drivers and operators servicing Barangay Happy Hallow, Baguio City, who charge their passengers more than the approved fare rate by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
We have been tolerant of your scheme because you told us before that the reduced number of load capacity hardly allows you to earn enough for operational cost. Despite warnings that it is illegal to charge passengers with additional fare, you still charge P30 per passenger for a one-way trip, ignoring the sighs and murmurs from the riding public.
Since April, we were silent about your violations. Besides the overcharging, five-seater jeepneys were made to accommodate six passengers. There were times during last trips when policemen were not around, you asked passengers to share seats so you could cater to more, thus filling up the jeepney to its usual seating capacity.
In all these we kept mum in consideration of your situation. Although if we come to think of it, your plight is not too bad compared to the other sectors, considering the subsidy granted to you by the city government. You were also included as beneficiaries of cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program since you lost daily wage during the lockdown.
Remember, you are not the only ones impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. All of us are. Yet, you continue to take advantage of the commuters.
Now that the relaxed guidelines permit you to increase the number of passengers, please quit the abuse. The directive of the LTFRB that additional fare should be voluntary is clear.
Also, most of you have not complied with standards with those thin, torn, improperly placed plastic barriers that are rarely cleaned, have you? Drivers and operators in other places have managed to install their barriers creatively using sturdier plastic brands. I’m sure you can do that, too. The riding public deserves quality service from you, as they are your sources of income. Please treat them well.
In case some would accuse me of bringing out this issue in the media instead of referring it to proper authorities, I have already reported this matter to the LTFRB but no action has been taken so far to address it. It is my hope that through this letter, we can pressure these drivers and operators to mend their ways and rebuild their delikadeza, if there is little left of it in them. — NAME WITHHELD

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