No fare hike for provincial buses — LTFRB

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) —  There will be no fare increases once provincial buses resume their operations on September 30, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced Sunday.

During its online briefing, LTFRB Technical Division head Joel Bolano said pre-pandemic rates will apply for provincial buses that will start plying their routes by the end of the month, as stated under Memorandum Circular 2020-051.

"Wala po tayong fare increase," he said. "Ito po muna susundin natin, itong provincial fare rates."

[Translation: We will not be implementing a fare increase for now. We will still follow the current provincial fare rates.]

Ordinary provincial buses are currently charging ₱9 for the first five kilometers, and an additional ₱1.55 per succeeding kilometer.

The succeeding fare per kilometer for regular airconditioned buses is pegged at ₱1.75, ₱1.85 for deluxe, ₱1.95 for super deluxe, and ₱2.40 for luxury buses.

The LTFRB recently announced that 12 "modified" bus routes will be reopened for Regions 3 and 4-A, accommodating 286 buses to and from Metro Manila.

The number of bus units may also gradually increase in localities in the coming months, LTFRB chair Martin Delgra added.

"Sinusunod po natin ang calibrated policy ng Department of Transportation, na hindi biglaan ang pagbukas (We will follow the calibrated policy of the Department of Transportation not to make all routes instantly available)," he said. "These are just initial bus routes that will be opened."

Online bookings and cashless transactions will also be implemented to reduce risks of transmission. Pick-up or drop-off of passengers in between the approved routes will not be allowed, the LTFRB said.