Patrick Everett Tadeo
Solidifying a new era in public transport, a partnership between the national government, local government units, and the private sector has been formed to launch “a new developmental route” for e-jeepneys under the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Together with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Meralco, and the City Governments of Makati and Mandaluyong, 15 electric jeepneys have been deployed to serve the route from the Buendia MRT station in Makati to the Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter Street and back.
Powered by electricity, the e-jeepneys are emission-free, making them eco-friendly. Fully-compliant with the PUVMP, each unit has a side entrance and is equipped with an automated fare collection system, GPS tracking system, and CCTV cameras. The e-jeepneys also have priority seats for senior citizens and PWDs, as well as onboard WiFi and USB ports for passenger convenience and comfort.
“On behalf of DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, I would like to thank the private sector for their important role in terms of putting capital and technology in modernizing our transportation system,” said DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark de Leon during the program’s launch. “This launch is a celebration of partnership between the private and the public sectors.”
Dubbed as eSakay–a registered subsidiary of Meralco “that supports the government’s initiative to provide a safer, more sustainable and environmentally-friendly transportation system to the riding public”–the e-jeepneys will be operational from 5 AM to 12 midnight with the fare ranging from PHP9 to PHP15.
As added revenue to the eSakay drivers and operators, the e-jeepneys havedesignated areas for advertising placements.
“This is the fruit of our collective effort in pushing for modernization. Hindi po mangyayari ito kung DOTr lang. Hindi po mangyayari ito kung bangko lang or suppliers lang. (This will not happen if it’s only the DOTr. This will not happen if it’s only up to the banks or suppliers.) All of us should come together. And all our efforts is all about the mananakay (commuter),” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra IIIstressed.
In connection with the program’s launch, de Leon shared that the DOTr will look into providing subsidies and incentives to the use of electric vehicles to further promote its use.