DOTC, LTFRB launch PWD-friendly premium buses
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Thursday, February 18, launched new point-to-point (P2P) bus services designed for the benefit of persons with disability (PWDs).
This is to push the department's aim to modernize the Philippines' public utility bus (PUB) system. (READ: Double decker bus dry run: 'Preview' of modern bus system)
"PWDs, senior citizens, and pregnant women will begin enjoying the convenience and comfort of this new class of city buses, which improve accessibility with low floors and foldable ramps," Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said in a statement.
These premium buses feature:
- Low floor height
- Hydraulic kneeling function to allow tilting towards the pavement
- Retractable or foldable boarding and alighting ramp
- Tap-and-go card payment system
- Global positioning system (GPS) devices
- On-board close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras
- Free Wi-Fi
"We are ridding our streets of dilapidated, poorly-maintained, and unsuitable buses. Eventually, this will push all PUBs to modernize," Abaya added.
Under DOTC’s Department Order No. 2015-18 – which created the P2P bus service last year – buses under this category must be compliant with Euro IV emissions standards or better, or run on clean alternative fuels.
The P2P bus service is aimed to cut travel time and provide convenient commutes, through fixed stops and schedules.
Other PUB modernization efforts
On Wednesday, February 17, the DOTC, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and other government agencies launched the airport bus system at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. (READ: Air21 launches premium NAIA buses Wednesday)
This new service, created under DOTC Department Order No. 2015-11, intends to provide an alternative means of accessing NAIA facilities, and to ease long queues for airport taxi services.
Last week, the LTFRB announced its requirement for all PUBs to install GPS devices, in an effort to better monitor and discipline errant bus drivers and operators.
It was also last week when the LTFRB allowed Froehlich Tours, the operator of premium P2P bus services in the country, to add two more routes: North EDSA – Makati City and North EDSA – Ortigas. – Rappler.com