DOTr records over 2-M ridership on free shuttle service for health workers
MANILA: The “Libreng Sakay" service for Health Workers program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has reached a milestone as it has ferried over two million frontliners as of January 7.
The program was initiated on March 18, 2020 for frontliners since public transportation was temporarily suspended to comply with community quarantine protocols.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Road Transport and Infrastructure Assistant Secretary Mark Steven Pastor said that the total ridership all over the country has reached 2,001,461. He stated that the agency takes pride in the success of the program, which is highly patronized by the health workers in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He also acknowledged DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade for constantly prioritizing the welfare of health workers who are in the front line of the ongoing battle with the viral disease.
Although the community quarantine category is now eased down to either general community quarantine (GCQ or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in many areas, the DOTr decided to continue the Libreng Sakay program. The program presently covers 20 routes in the National Capital Region (NCR)-Greater Manila Area.
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) administer the free ride services in the provincial regions, where the program’s total ridership reached 1,446,836.
The DOTr also partnered with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) to waive the toll fees of the vehicles that are carrying health workers along all expressways in Luzon.
All participating vehicles in the Libreng Sakay program strictly comply with health and sanitation protocols, as mandated by the DOTr. They guarantee that any passenger with coronavirus disease symptoms will not be allowed inside the vehicle. All passengers are also required to wear face masks and face shields. Talking, making phone calls, and eating are prohibited inside the service vehicle. All buses that are included in the program must be well-ventilated and regularly disinfected. The passengers must also be one seat apart to observe the physical distancing protocol.
In a statement released by the DOTr, they have given credit to other government sectors, bus companies, and oil companies which have largely contributed on the agency’s free ride service program.
Photos from the Department of Transportation