DOTr: Taxi Modernization Program underway

One of the government’s main initiatives to improve public transport
by Leandre Grecia | May 23, 2019
PHOTO: Skitterphoto (from Pexels)

We’ve seen the development of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in recent years. And now modernization has come to the taxi sector of public transport.

According to a press release from the DOTr earlier today, the agency issued Department Order (D.O.) No. 2019-007 amending provisions to D.O. 2015-011 for Premium taxis. Last May 8, 2019, Secretary Arthur Tugade signed the guidelines known as the ‘Taxi Modernization Program.

In line with the PUVMP and the government’s campaign for road safety awareness, this initiative on taxi modernization is aimed toward providing reliable public transport with high-end safety and comfort features for the riders, as well as regular salary and proper benefits for drivers.

The program will also require existing units and franchises to comply with the updated requirements for roadworthiness, vehicle reclassification, as well as internet access for patrons.

“Our transport modernization programs aim to uplift three elements: the safety and comfort of the riding public, the state of road transportation, and the welfare of transport operators and drivers. Through the Taxi Modernization Program, we provide additional options for mobility to the public while giving our taxi drivers regular compensation and benefits,” said Secretary Tugade.

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“When our drivers are salaried, they do not need to rush on the road to maximize the number of passengers and flagdowns they could get in a day. We, thus, reduce the risk of road incidence. And, with the amended vehicle specifications for premium taxis, we put on our roads vehicles that are safer and environment-friendly,” he added.

The newly-issued D.O. No. 2019-007 will require all premium taxis to have proper air-conditioning and comply with Euro 4 standards. All new and existing units will also be reclassified as either Silver or Gold.

According to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), sedans may fall under either of the two classifications, depending on their body type registration with the Land Transportation Office. Multi-purpose vehicles and utility vans (UV) will be classified as Silver, while sports utility vehicles and utility vans (premium) will be classified as Gold.

The LTFRB will also determine the classification of vehicles based on certain parameters including displacement or power rating, legroom, and luggage compartments. For potential premium taxi service operators, units to be registered must not be more than three years old upon application. Year models shall be based on the units’ LTO registration.

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DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark De Leon also said that premium taxis target the growing demand of the riding public for a more modern taxi service.

“As we can glean from the TNVS ridership, more Filipinos are now willing to pay a higher amount for cleaner, more modern and convenient taxi services, with mechanisms for commuter safety and feedback. Premium Taxis will offer a similar service level. Truly, there is no reason for taxi services not to up their ante to serve our commuters at a higher standard,” De Leon pointed out.

The DOTr released the complete set of guidelines, including registration, through an official statement on Facebook. You may view the official post below:

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What do you think of the taxi modernization program? 

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PHOTO: Skitterphoto (from Pexels)
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