PUJ route dry run draws ire from drivers, commuters

LEGAZPI CITY—The local government of Albay, through the Legazpi City police, implemented a traffic rerouting dry-run for public utility jeepneys with routes from Daraga to Legazpi City and vice versa last Sep. 4, drawing ire from both commuters and drivers.

Nilo S. Berdin, Legazpi City chief of police, said that the rerouting is for the fair and equal distribution of vehicles in the area and the province’s effort to lessen the traffic going to and from Legazpi City.

Loop A and Loop B stickers were given at random for the dry run of the of Legazpi City-Daraga rerouting. (photo by Lawrence Llacer/Ibalio Stories)

Public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers expressed dismay over the new route, saying that the new route was confusing.

“We are really affected. If I take the alternate route, there are so many rivals. There is so little income, unlike before,” said Jomar Balbin, driver of an old Letter A jeep.

Balbin however said that they know that they cannot complain about the new routes because “it is an order from the city.”

According to the date from Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), there are 1,832 authorized units of (PUJs) in Albay. 261 of these are jeepneys that take the Legazpi City-Daraga route.

Meanwhile, some students also expressed the same sentiments.

“There are a lot of students waiting on the streets. Some are forced to ride the tricycle going home because jeepneys are always full. There were fewer jeepneys since the rerouting,” said Alloys Lasin, a senior high student at St. Agnes Academy.

Lasin, however, said that the rerouting has lessened the traffic in the area.
Berdin said that Rizal St. is already congested even before the rush hour, prompting the city government to conduct such measure.

The jeepneys were divided into two loops, Loop A and Loop B, each having new routes but will be going the opposite directions.

Other than the effort to combat traffic woes, the new route was also implemented in preparation for the influx of passengers as soon as another mall in Legazpi City is set to open on Sep. 14.

“After [the new mall] finally opens, the passsengers of Tahao Road jeepneys will increase. [They] can also board the Legazpi City-Daraga jeepneys but they still need to walk to reach the mall,” Berdin said.

Berdin said that about 40 jeepneys that have not been given the stickers for the new routes. He said that the tickets were given to jeepneys at random.

The city police chief said that they despite having no end date yet for the dry run, they would ask the opinions of the public whether or not to continue the implementation of the new routes.

“At the end of the dry run, there will be a meeting and evaluation. We will get comments from the drivers, stakeholders, commuters, and establishments,” Berdin said.



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