Support for bikes, mandatory face masks and a ban on Angkas: DOTr lays down 'new normal'


Posted at May 01 2020 01:44 AM | Updated as of May 01 2020 02:14 AM

Support for bikes, mandatory face masks and a ban on Angkas: DOTr lays down 'new normal' 1
Cyclists move around in Marikina City on March 19, 2020 amid the suspension of mass transportation under the enhanced communnity quarantine of Luzon. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Bicycle use will be promoted, commuters will be required to wear face masks, while motorcycle taxis will be disallowed when the lockdown gives way to general community quarantine, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Thursday. 

Transport Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. said these were among the guidelines that would govern public transport when the enhanced community quarantine ends. 

"We will be encouraging the use of bicycles and personal mobility devices para sa ating mamayan (for our citizens)," Tuazon said.

Transport Assistant Secretary Mark Richmund De Leon said that they are also looking at having dedicated lanes for bicycles, but will need to have a budget allocated for the infrastructure. 

For buses, jeepneys and shuttles, Tuazon said these vehicles will only be allowed to load half their passenger capacity to ensure physical distancing among commuters. 

Buses will also need to have thermal scanners to screen passengers who may be showing symptoms of COVID-19. 

Bus drivers will also need to be separated from passengers with an impermeable barrier, Tuazon said. 

Provincial buses, meanwhile, will be required to have a passenger manifest in case contact-tracing will be needed. 

Motorcycle taxis, like Angkas, meanwhile will not be allowed as this service does not conform to the guidelines for physical distancing, the Land Transporation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said. 

Private motorcycles will not be allowed to have back riders either.

For private vehicles, only the driver is allowed to ride in front, and only 2 passengers are allowed at the back. They are only allowed to operate for the purpose of essential travels as defined by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Taxis and ride-sharing cars will be allowed only 2 passengers. 

Tricycles, on the other hand, must not exceed 1 passenger in the side-car, while backriding will not be allowed, the DOTr said.

“In areas with unavailable buses and modern PUVs, PUJs and UV Express may operate. In areas were no other mode of public transportation is available, tricycles may be permitted to operate as determined by the LTFRB in coordination with the corresponding LGU,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said in a statement.

The LTFRB will issue special permits to allow PUVs to operate and drivers and operators may apply for the permit through LTFRB offices or by email.

To ensure strict compliance of the guidelines, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) and IATF personnel will conduct daily random inspections in terminals.

Violators will be penalized, the DOTr warned.

"The DOTr is also calling for the help of enforcement agencies such as PNP and local government units (LGUs) to help ensure that social distancing and sanitation is observed in terminals and vehicles in these municipalities,” De Leon said. 

"Let us all do our part to safeguard the health of all drivers and commuters in the transport sector."