E-shuttles about to hit PH roads
MANILA, Philippines – Jeepneys are the most common public transportation for the Filipino commuter.
But its days may be numbered.
Pia Ranada tells us why.
Jeepneys, the flamboyant king of Philippine roads may just be dethroned.
In this warehouse in Cavite
A new fleet of jeeps are being made
These e-shuttles are bigger, more spacious, and run completely on electricity.
Aling Trining says riding the e-shuttles is like a breath of fresh air.
ALING TRINING, COMMUTER: Maginhawa, maluwag. Komportable. Nakaka tayo ka. (ano yung pagkakaiba niya sa typical jeep na sinasakay niyo?) Hindi maingay.
It's refreshing, spacious, comfortable. You can stand up. (How is it different from the typical jeep?) It's not noisy.
But it's different in other ways.
JAY MELOTO, OPERATIONS HEAD, PANGEA PHILIPPINES: With traditional jeepneys, its at the back and what this does is passengers on the road who want to get in the vehicle would have to go on the road so that's why we changed it and put it in the side so they'll be on the curb, on the sidewalk and for us this will be more safe.
Roberto Martin, president of jeepney driver association Pasang Masda says its a big improvement.
His group invested in the first 30 shuttles and traded in their old jeeps
ROBERTO 'KA OBET' MARTIN, PRESIDENT, PASANG MASDA: Sa nakita ko rito at iminaneho ko ito, wala pong lahat yung nararamdaman kong init ng makina, yung polusyon, higit sa lahat yung presyo ng petrolyo wala na kaming problema. Ito na po yung tinatawag kong total solution sa problema na matagal naming naranasan sa lumang, tipikal na jeep.
(From what I saw while driving it, our problems with the heat of the engine, the pollution, above all the price of gas are gone. This is what I call the total solution to the problems we have experienced for so long with the old, typical jeep.)
Thirty COMET shuttles are in various stages of production.
They will be on the streets of Metro Manila in the next few months.
Their first run will be in Quezon City: from SM North EDSA to the Katipunan LRT Station via Luzon Avenue.
There will be designated stops
and passengers will use a card with credits to pay for a ride.
The fare will be the same as any jeepney.
Shuttle drivers get paid a monthly salary with benefits.
JAY MELOTO, OPERATIONS HEAD, PANGEA PHILIPPINES: Usually if you have a high tech product that you're bringing somewhere you usually develop the product for the rich but what I like about this product, me and my colleagues is we're designing the best for the least.
The future has left the garage.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Cavite.