COVID-19 Consumer News

Here’s What Transportation Will Be Like Under the GCQ

Here are the guidelines for private and public vehicles.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | May 07, 2020
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Transportation, general community quarantine, COVID-19, private and public vehicles, pandemic

Motorists and commuters have to adjust to the “new normal” during the GCQ.

In areas under the general community quarantine, various modes of transportation will be undergoing adjustments in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has set specific guidelines for both private and public vehicles, and they include safety measures for drivers and passengers, including a capacity limit per vehicle. Private vehicle owners, PUV drivers and operators, and private or public transportation terminal operators who will violate the guidelines will be penalized and sanctioned.

Private Vehicles

According to the DOTr, private cars and motorcycles will be allowed to operate for essential travels as classified by the Inter-Agency Task Force, provided they follow some capacity guidelines.

In cars, only one passenger, not counting the driver, will only be allowed in the front seat. Moreover, each row shall not hold more than two passengers. Meanwhile, motorcycles are prohibited from having back ride passengers. Bicycles are also encouraged, but local government units must indicate bike lanes or bike-only roads.

Public Vehicles

Since public vehicles carry more passengers, there are stricter rules. All permitted public utility vehicles (PUVs) and transport terminals and operators should have three essential components: safety, capacity, and coverage.

For safety, guidelines are set to reduce physical contact between passengers and transmission of the virus. Under this scope, drivers and operators are required to abide by the following rules:

• Use of face masks and gloves is mandatory for drivers.
• “No face mask, no travel” policy must be followed by both drivers and passengers.
• Drivers should disinfect vehicles, terminals, and even passengers.
• Disinfection is required after every round trip.
• Disinfecting facilities where passengers can wash their hands should be included in terminals.
• Hand sanitizers will be provided for passengers.
• PUV drivers and operators are required to use impermeable barriers between the drivers and passengers inside the vehicle.
• Automated fare collection is encouraged to limit contact.
• If automated fare collection is not applicable, passengers will be required to pay before boarding the vehicle.
• Foot disinfectants will be provided in public buses and public transportation systems.
• Drivers and conductors will be regularly checked for symptoms.

For capacity, PUVs will be required to lessen their passenger capacity to ensure that physical distancing is followed. The required passenger capacity differs depending on the type of vehicle. The rules for capacity are as follows:

• The number of passengers should not exceed 50% of the vehicle’s capacity, excluding the driver and conductor (for buses and jeepneys).
• UV Express and taxis should only have two passengers per row.
• Only one passenger is allowed at the driver’s row.
• Tricycles are only allowed to accompany one passenger per trip.
• Back riding is prohibited in tricycle rides.

In terms of coverage, the type of PUV that will be allowed to operate in areas under the GCQ will be guided by the number of passengers that will be transported. PUVs with high passenger capacity such as buses will be prioritized to comply with the Department Order No. 2017-011 or “Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance.”

In case buses are not enough to accommodate passenger demand, other compliant modern PUVs will be allowed. If the area has unavailable buses and other modern PUVs, jeepneys and UV Express may operate. If the area has no other means of transportation, tricycles will be permitted to operate.

These transportation adjustments create a safer environment for motorists, passengers, and operators amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go to Yoorekka for more useful local information during this pandemic.
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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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