Jan 18, 2019

Earlier this morning, Jan. 18, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) debuted 15 eSakay electric jeepneys that will go from Makati to Mandaluyong and vice versa. This was done in partnership with the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Meralco (eSakay is the company’s business venture specialising on electronic transportation services). The route will go from the Buendia MRT station in Makati to the Mandaluyong City Hall by passing through Jupiter Street.

This move is part of the government’s big push to modernize our transportation system. According to the DOTr, the vehicles are all “PUVMP-compliant, designed with a side entrance and has priority seats for senior citizens and PWD passengers. These units are also equipped with wifi, GPS, CCTV cameras, USB charging ports, and will utilize an automated fare collection system.” (By the way, since these are still jeeps, the fare is still P9, way cheaper than your standard P2P).

As someone who used to commute from Katipunan to Makati, I’ve become a huge fan of P2Ps, electric jeepneys, and other services like it. They’re sometimes bigger than the standard jeepneys you see plying the road, and a lot cleaner. Inside these buses, shuttles, and similar vehicles, you’ll get free wifi and aircon. And you don’t ever fear that your driver has suddenly gone rogue because of how much he’s driving like a madman on the streets.

I’m not the only fan. The Philippines is undergoing a shift to a “safer, sustainable, and more environmentally-friendly transportation system,” Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan noted. “Industry stakeholders should step up and rally behind the government and local vehicle manufacturers” to encourage this shift, he added.

We’ve been critical of many moves done by the government recently, but this is something we can actually get behind. The current jeepneys are huge gas guzzlers—just look at the smoke they emit. A shift to electronic cars would do wonders for the environment. Now, if they can just make sure that jeepney drivers will be well-compensated and supported as they make the transition to electronic vehicles, we’d be golden.


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TAGS: e-sakay electronic jeepney Meralco