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Stranded commuters irked as no jeeps ply due to dialogue

The National Economic Development Authority XI (NEDA) bared that the total cost for the Davao Public Transport Modernization (DPTM) Project, including the High Bus Priority System (HPBS), is P18.67 billion.

NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes Lim told reporters on Friday that the HPBS, which is expected to be implemented this year, will have 29 bus routes that were trimmed from the 120 planned city bus routes. She also said that the said amount already includes bus de-fleeting.

“The project is primarily aimed at giving public bus transport to address the traffic congestion in the city and provide an efficient and affordable mode of transport for Davaoeños,” she said during the Kapehan sa PIA on Friday at the NEDA-RDC XI Center in Bangkal, Barangay Talomo Proper.

Once operational, the HPBS will be divided into the following four tiers: Metro Davao (forming the core service that connects all major commercial centers along the five routes); Davao Inter (will run along eight routes connecting the inner urban areas directly to the Davao Central Business District); Davao Feeder (will run along nine routes linking smaller centers and areas of more dispersed populations to the Metro Davao services); and Davao Local (will provide a link between the outer rural areas of the city and main transport system or the integrated terminals).

Meanwhile, the Social Development Program concluded another consultation dialogue to public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers and operators in the Bunawan area yesterday, as the implementation of the HPBS is expected to pave way before the end of the year’s first quarter.

Yesterday’s consultation at the Bunawan Gym brought inconvenience to commuters in the northern part of the city as most of the drivers attended the dialogue. This caused the insufficient number of PUJs during the peak hours of the morning yesterday.

Netizens posted pictures and information in social media sites complaining of the shortage of the PUJs, especially in Sasa and Bunawan areas.

According to Management Office (CTTMO) personnel who man the affected areas, drivers were invited to attend the dialogue for the implementation of the HPBS.

With the shortage of PUJs, the CTTMO initiated and allowed commuters to ride in some of the pick-ups’ vacant back part to shuttle the stranded passengers to their destination. Some private vehicles were also requested to help in transporting passengers to the downtown area.

Based on the information from the Social Development Program, PUJ drivers bound to Buhangin and Bunawan areas were mandated to attend the consultation dialogue. Based on the Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004, failure to attend any of the set dialogues would penalize drivers and operators.

The Social Development Program will conduct another set of consultation dialogue on Jan. 31 at SIR Matina.

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