Bacolod: E-jeep dry run extended

photo courtesy of The Daily Guardian

Bacolod City – The dry run of electric jeepneys (e-jeep) in Barangay Vista Alegre here will continue until May 19, despite opposition from local tricycle drivers and operators last Wednesday.

This decision follows a meeting between Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez and the officers of Arao Vista Alegre Granada Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA), led by president Carlito Ronamo and barangay captain Jose Maria Leandro Norberto De Leon, at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC).

The meeting occurred hours after TODA members blocked the e-jeep, which offered a “free ride” on the first day of the dry run.

Tricycle drivers had barricaded the exit of the e-jeep from the Arao relocation site, asserting that their livelihood would be affected.

City Administrator Lucille Gelvolea said in a media interview that the city and the tricycle drivers reached an agreement, allowing the dry run to continue peacefully. She added that all parties would meet again for assessment after the five-day trial.

Gelvolea explained that Mayor Benitez clarified the dry run’s objective to the tricycle drivers. “We let them know why we are doing this,” she said.

The city aims to assess the need for a new route and determine the necessary steps for better transportation, particularly with the development of the socialized housing project “Yuhum Residences” in the village.

“That area will no longer be the same two to five years from now,” Gelvolea noted.

She also highlighted the city’s push for sustainable transportation solutions to benefit the environment. No complaints have been received from the riding public during the dry run.

The e-jeep dry run operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., running from the Arao relocation site to Burgos Public Market and vice versa.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-6 approved a special permit for eight e-jeep units to operate two “green lane” routes from May 15 to 19.

Four e-jeepney units serve the Barangay Vista Alegre route, while another four units are designated for the Barangay Cabug route.

However, the Cabug route is on hold pending a meeting between the village chief and affected drivers and an assessment of the proposed route’s distance.

Gelvolea said that the city would request another special permit from LTFRB-6 to start the dry run for the Cabug route. These routes aim to serve residents not included in the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP). (Glazyl Masculino via The Daily Guardian)

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