For everyone who is presently wailing and gnashing their teeth over fare increases, and there are lots of you out there, here is evidence at last that there is somewhere in this world where bus operators seem prepared to think kindly of their passengers.
My sources in Manila tell me that despite rising fuel prices – yes, even in The Philippines – one bus operator has successfully applied to have its fares... reduced.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) – a sort of Philippino PTE, I suppose - agreed to a petition filed by Rural Transit, Inc to reduce its bus fares in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan by around a half.
And it won't just affect their own services – other operators serving the same route will also have to charge the same reduced fares. The fare reduction is effective immediately.
And the reason the bus operator asked to reduce its fares? Well, it was to provide humanitarian assistance to the residents of the two cities which were badly hit by tropical storm “Sendong” last year.
Needless to say, the LTFRB were deeply impressed by the operator’s public spirit in foregoing profit to provide humanitarian assistance to the riding public.
“In this time of crisis affecting the lives of our countrymen, every form of help and assistance, how little or big it is, that can mitigate the impact of the effect of disaster should be accepted, or at least be welcomed,” the LTFRB said.
“The petitioner should be commended for taking action for fare reduction in this time of crisis for it is not financially viable on their part on the business side,” the Board added.
Is that what they call 'caring capitalism', do you think? And if so, do you think we could have some?
Let's not all hold our breaths....