LTFRB opening new bus routes to offset suspension of PNR operations

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced the forthcoming opening of several public utility vehicle (PUV) routes to accommodate regular commuters affected by the temporary closure of select Philippine National Railways (PNR) stations.

According to Memorandum Circular 2023-020 released on Thursday, three routes are undergoing a "qualification process." These routes include FTI-Divisoria via East Service Road, Alabang (Starmall) – Divisoria via the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX), and Malabon-Divisoria. These routes are set to cater to commuters during the planned closure of certain PNR stations to facilitate the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR).


The memorandum specifies that a total of 30 public utility bus (PUB) units will operate on the FTI-Divisoria route, 25 PUBs for Alabang (Starmall) – Divisoria, and five modern jeepneys for Malabon-Divisoria. The number of units may be adjusted based on passenger demand.

Issued by the LTFRB’s Franchise Planning and Monitoring Division in coordination with the PNR, the memorandum outlines guidelines for selecting operators to manage the routes. These guidelines follow Memorandum Circular 2019-013, detailing the process for issuing Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) and Special Permits (SP) under the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines and Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Authorized units must not exceed five years old based on the vehicle's certificate of registration and must operate under a SP for one year, renewable annually, or until the NSCR is fully operational.

The existing fare for city buses, as authorized by the LTFRB, will apply to the two PUB routes.

The NSCR, spanning 147 kilometers, will connect Metro Manila to Pampanga in the north and Laguna in the south. The project is slated for completion by 2028.

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