The Consumer-Commuter advocacy group PASADA today blew the horn against colorum vans that commit highway robbery on provincial commuters with their exploitative, price-gouging, fare fixing schemes that also blatantly disregard IATF covid protocols on social distancing during trips. According to PASADA President Argee Guevarra, “these colorum vans charge hapless passengers outrageous fares.
For instance, every passenger in a one-way Manila to Baguio trip is being charged a staggering Php 3,000.00 which is almost five times the cheapest indicative market price of a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Compare this with the government-approved fare of around P560 for regular provincial bus operators, the glaring fare disparity between colorum vans and bus lines should compel LTFRB into reconsidering its policy of segmenting provincial bus routes to ensure full availability and accessibility of transportation to our millions of provincial commuters and observe the plainly worded grant of the bus operators’ respective franchises.”
Guevarra claims that many of these colorum vans are even photographed setting up ticketing booths in public terminals including the PITX with the majority, openly advertising their rates on social media under the sleepy eyes and inattention of LTFRB and other law enforcement agencies.
“Being unregulated, these vans – apart from charging commuters unconscionable fares — do not even practice social distancing during trips and pack their vehicles by as many as 10 passengers per van per trip. The proliferation of these colorum operations would effectively cease if only LTFRB would undertake a massive crackdown against colorum vans and rationalize its policy that should allow franchised bus companies to fully operate pursuant to their franchises and after certification by the health department to be compliant with covid protocols.”
“Under the current chaotic and unrationalized transportation regime exemplified by the dominance and prevalence of colorum van operations, the commuter is always made to suffer from this highway robbery which effectively waylays the country’s economic recovery. After the war on the pandemic, our stranded army of commuters-workers should be brought back to their respective workplaces, round-the-clock, in the cheapest, safest and fastest mode of transportation available in the country – on board buses,” Guevarra concludes. (AI/MTVN)