Issue of July 15, 2018
     
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Benguet
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Mt. Province
 
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2018
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BSU survey shows commuters can accept P10 jeepney fare
by Rhea S. Loncio

Commuters from the Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet favor a jeepney fare hike – but not at the rate proposed by a group of jeepney operators and drivers.

In the opinion survey conducted from June 11 to 20 by the Benguet State University Institute of Social Research and Development (BSU-ISRD) involving 763 respondents, it was showed that commuters are willing to pay a low of P6.50 to P17 for the first four kilometers plus 25 centavos to P3 add-on for every kilometer.

Most non-student respondents, however, were willing to pay P10 minimum plus P1 to P2 add-on for every additional kilometer.

The result of the survey was published in a policy memo sent to the regional and central offices of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the local government units of Baguio and La Trinidad, and the National Economic Development Authority.

More than 90 percent of the respondents claimed they will be greatly affected or affected if the petition to increase to P14 the minimum fare plus P2 for every kilometer will be approved. Most of the respondents claimed they use the jeepney service twice a day. Their average estimated transportation expense is roughly 13 percent of their average total household income.

The acceptable PUJ fare based on the survey is seen as fair for drivers and operators as they will still get enough profit based on simulated enterprise budgets of case jeepney lines and assumed operation per month.

On the current taxi fare, most respondents said the P35 flag-down rate should be retained, and the additional cost per travelled distance and travel time should be reduced.

Before the taxi fare increase, the flag-down rate was P35 plus P2 for every 200 meters, and P2 per minute waiting time. There had been a noticeable increase with the P13.50 for every additional kilometer and P2 per minute of travel, with the flag-down rate remaining at P35.

Those who ride taxicabs were stunned with the current taxi fare rates. One respondent said, “Nagulat ako! Nung magbabayad na ako, doble yung presyo na nakalagay sa metro.”

Another respondent said some taxi drivers drive slower maybe because of the minute-based rate.

With the increase, there has been disagreement and complaints. One respondent claims that, “The proposed jeepney and current taxi fare hike is too much to handle for an ordinary person/commuter considering that some basic commodities increased its price.”

Most of the commuters interviewed understand that there must be an increase in taxi and jeepney fare, however, it should be minimal.

A respondent from the survey commented, “It is okay to have increase because of the increase of gas/diesel price but the increase for taxi and the proposed increase for jeep is too much. Public transportation is a necessity, especially to those who cannot afford to buy their own vehicle. Isn’t it fair to meet halfway?”

The BSU-ISRD’s Informing Policy and Practice policy note publication series aims to contribute research-based information for decision making and policymaking. Opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations in the IPP are those of the authors for that issue, not necessarily of BSU.


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