Window scheme for trunklines in need of more units up for study

BAGUIO CITY – The Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (TTMC) will study the possibility of allowing the window scheme for public utility jeepney (PUJ) trunklines experiencing shortage of units during rush hours in the morning.

TTMC Chair Mayor Mauricio Domogan said the Baguio City Police office under City Director Ramil Saculles should first establish the viability of exempting some units from the Number Coding Scheme to ply their routes from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. to make sure that the scheme will serve its purpose of augmenting transport service to riding public.

"We have to study it first because if we approve it and the PUJs will just be caught in traffic then it will not serve the purpose," the mayor said.

The TTMC received petitions from residents of Sto. Tomas Proper and Irisan barangays lamenting the lack of enough units serving their route during rush hours causing stress and inconvenience to the passengers.

They expect other barangays experiencing similar problems to follow suit like Loakan, Ambiong and others.

If found feasible, the window scheme will be approved by the TTMC for implementation on experimental basis starting June in time for the opening of classes for the public schools in the City.

As suggested by Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association Baguio-Benguet chapter Vice President Patricio Evangelista, the TTMC will impose a condition that the units that will be granted exemption will continue to ferry passengers until 9 p.m. as required by a city ordinance.

Councilor Benny Bomogao attested to the difficulties that passengers from Balacbac, Green Valley and others along Marcos Highway experience in the morning as most of the PUJ units are filled up starting from their turning points.

The Sto. Tomas barangay council under punong barangay Miguel Kiswa asked Bomogao to endorse the exemption from the coding ordinance of the jeepneys plying their barangays as requested by the senior citizens in the area due to the hardships being experienced.

In their own request addressed to Mayor Domogan, officers and residents of Purok 14 Proper, Purok 14 Lower, Purok 14A and B of Irisan barangay, Purok 17, boundaries of Irisan and Puroks 6, 7 and 8 Asin Road also requested the lifting of number coding for their PUJs to ease the same burden.

Purok 14 officers said the population in their areas had multiplied five times in the last eight years necessitating the addition of more PUJ units to serve the riding public but since the moratorium on new franchises remains in effect, the exemption from the number coding ordinance will help remedy the problem. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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