Commuter to Ilocos Norte modern PUJs: more convenient, comfortable


Jul. 14, 2021 ...

Over 20 modernized Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) will soon be providing service on Ilocos Norte roads, particularly the Laoag-Pasuquin via Bacarra franchised route.

Last July 8, 2021, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board authorities officially launched and handed over the modernized jeepneys to the Laoag-Bacarra-Pasuquin Transportation Group Inc. (LBPTGI) at the Laoag International Airport.

"Jena" from Pasuquin town, a regular commuter, has boarded the modernized jeepneys twice and described it as "far more convenient and comfortable for daily travelers like her."

"It is spacious, and there is social distancing, which is very convenient during this pandemic. Also, because Ilocos Norte has warmer weather, air-conditioned jeepneys are more comfortable for those of us who are waiting for public transportation.

"Inside, I noticed smart features such as digital signboards, buzzers, CCTV cameras, and free Wi-Fi. I heard these PUJs are eco-friendly and have speed limit gadgets too, which is reassuring on our part that we are on a safe ride. However, there is no available smart card yet to make payment really contactless. Overall, I am hopeful that the transportation group will continue to provide this level of service," she added.

According to Metro Ilocos Norte Council General Manager Cipriano E. Martinez III, the approved number of modern jeepneys to ply in Ilocos Norte is first in terms of quantity in the Ilocos Region.

Moreover, Secretary Tugade expressed his gratitude to the LBPTGI for working with the national government on the modernization program.

"Rest assured that LBPTGI will work alongside us to ensure that the public transportation is not only safe and comfortable but more importantly reasonable...You have also provided yourself with the necessary employment mechanism so that you can duly and properly support your families. Ganyan po magtrabaho at makiisa ang Ilokano," he remarked.

The LBPTGI modern jeepneys are not fully operational because other documentary requirements are still pending. Some units, on the other hand, are deployed as shuttle vehicles for APORS entering Laoag City, which is under MECQ at present.