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Fifteen modern jeepneys are operating on the Novaliches-Balintawak-Blumentritt route and vice versa under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the Duterte administration.

The air-conditioned jeepneys, operated by the Novaliches-Balintawak-Blumentritt Transport Service Cooperative (NBBTSC), are stationed at the terminal just off the Novaliches Proper Barangay Hall, near the corner of Buenamar Avenue and Lourdes-Dona Isaura streets.

From the Novaliches poblacion (town proper), the jeepneys take Quirino Highway until Balintawak, and then to A. Bonifacio Avenue up to Blumentritt Street and Rizal Avenue in Manila.

Eric Calzado, one of the NBBTSC drivers, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that passengers are charged a minimum fare of PHP11 while it’s PHP29 for the straight ride of 13 kilometers from Novaliches to Blumentritt and vice versa.

Senior citizens, students, and persons with disabilities are allowed 20 percent discount as mandated by law.

Calzado said each unit has a seating capacity of 26, but they can only take half of this number because of the prevailing observance of physical distancing to prevent the spread of the infectious coronavirus disease 2019.

Passengers without mask and face shield are not allowed to ride.

The PUVMP was launched nationwide, through the Department of Transportation, to provide the riding public with comfortable and safe modes of travel.

It also aims to give drivers and operators of public utility vehicles regular and enough income.

Among the PUVMP partners are the Development Bank of the Philippines, Office of the Transport Cooperative, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board, and Land Transportation Office. (PNA)

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