Commuters won’t have to worry about paying fares starting today (April 11) as the government’s subsidy program for transportation costs begins officially. 

According to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Executive Director Maria Kristina Cassion, the nationwide free rides initiative will be available on select routes and roads in the country and will be offered by partner public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“We are preparing for Monday (April 11) implementation nationwide of the service contracting program,” Cassion told DZBB on Saturday (April 9). 

The service contracting program will mean 45-60 days of rides free of charge for commuters. However, LTFRB noted that the duration will depend on the region. 

The administration has set aside P7 billion for the transport project and has tapped 13,000 to 15000 PUV units plying at least 1,000 routes all over the country.

Cassion said there are still a lot of PUV operators who’ve yet to complete their requirements so commuters can expect, which means free rides will not be possible for all routes. However, she assured free rides will increase as more operators accomplish the deliverables. 

LTFRB said public commuters can expect free rides at EDSA’s Bus carousel and designated routes. Meanwhile, the NLEX to Metro Manila service route and other roads will be open either on Wednesday or Thursday. Cassion said some participants still need to undergo orientation. 

Under this initiative, PUVs will receive weekly compensation from the government in exchange for offering free rides to commuters. 

Eligible for the program are drivers of public utility buses, UV express vans, traditional and modern public utility jeepneys, and selected tourist franchises.

Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Transportation Section for the latest updates.

Image credit: Yannes Kiefer via Unsplash