MANILA – Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay has appealed anew to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to allow the city’s free shuttle services for MRT commuters to continue its operations based on “compassionate grounds.”
“When Makati decided to offer free shuttle services, our intention was to help ease the suffering of our riders, to show them that government is sensitive to their needs and will go the extra mile to serve them,” Binay said in a letter to LTFRB chair Winston Ginez sent last Friday.
The free shuttle services, which began last March 27, have been conceptualized to help alleviate the burden of commuters en route to Makati caused by MRT woes.
Citing the MRT’s long lines and frequent breakdowns, Binay thinks it is already an emergency situation that needs government intervention.
“Once the situation has been resolved -- when the long lines are no longer there and the trains are again running smoothly -- Makati would pull out the free shuttle services. Until such time, Makati will continue with this public service,” he said.
Binay also noted that the shuttle services his city would offer would not adversely affect the income of regular buses as it accommodates less than 400 riders every day.
“We must admit that the city had considered stopping the free shuttle services after the LTFRB imposed several requirements. However, we decided to continue the service and accede to the LTFRB's conditions since we feel strongly that the public's welfare should always be paramount,” he said.
Last May 16, the LTFRB issued an order granting a special permit for the free shuttle service after the city government complied with its documentary requirements.
However, the LTFRB imposed additional conditions that included requiring passengers to buy a single journey ticket and present an ID issued by a Makati-based company.
The city government responded with a Motion for Partial Consideration, appealing to LTFRB to do away with these conditions, which were “contrary to public interest and welfare.”jojo