MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has decided to remove the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) ticket as a requirement for riders of the free shuttle service offered by the Makati government.
''We have decided to waive the condition we initially set of requiring passengers of the free shuttle to purchase a single journey MRT ticket to avail of the free shuttle service,'' LTFRB chairman Wintson Ginez 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 Makati government criticized the LTFRB for this move, saying they were ''contrary to public interest and welfare." It filed a motion for reconsideration last May 30.
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.
While it removed the MRT ticket as a requirement, the LTFRB retained the ID requirement. The LTFRB argued that this should still be required to passengers since the intended beneficiaries of the free shuttle services are employees working in Makati.
''If the Board allows all commuters going to Makati City to avail of the free shuttle service ride even if they are not workers or employees in Makati City contrary to the express and mandatory provisions of the said Ordinance, the Board will be allowing something which is not specified in the Libreng Sakay ng Makati Ordinance,” Ginez said.
''Naging considerate na po ang Board sa pagbibigay ng special permit to allow them operate the free shuttle service, pero hindi naman po tama na akusahan pa ang Board na unreasonable sapagkat ang ipinataw naming kundisyon sa kanilang Motion ay hango na rin sa sarili nilang Ordinance."