The Rise of Modern Jeepneys
An icon in the Philippines is about to end its race. Soon, its famous stainless body, colorful exterior paint, blasting music, and loud exhaust system will be part of history as the jeepney is nearing its curtain call. With the government’s commitment to modernize the country’s public transport system and to protect the environment, the traditional jeepneys we grew accustomed to are bound to make way for a new king.
The rise of the modern jeepney is brought upon by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as this government agency pushed for the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). The objective of the PUVMP is to modernize, update, and make the new jeepneys a safer public mode of transportation. The guidelines set by the DOTr in regards to how a new jeepney should be like are the following:
- The new jeepney must be compliant with safety and environmental standards.
- The new jeepney must be equipped with a Euro 4 emission-compliant engine or an electric motor.
- The new jeepney should have its entry and exit door on the right side while the rear exit serves as an emergency exit only.
- The new jeepney should be installed with a speed limiter, a dash cam, a GPS monitoring system, and a closed-circuit TV (CCTV) system.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra added that the new or modernized jeepney should have free Wi-Fi and an automatic fare collection system. The PUV Modernization program also states that PUV drivers should have fixed salaries and a maximum of 12 working hours.
Considering all the points mentioned, the Philippine government banks on the idea that modern jeepneys are more than just a vehicle that comes with a new design. The new jeepneys are also more environment-friendly and integrated with new technologies for the safety of the passengers. Looking at the new and modernized jeepneys in the Philippines, it’s safe to say that these machines are safer to ride at and more environment-friendly.
Isuzu Philippines is one of the local manufacturers that are aggressively pushing for its modernized jeepneys. In fact, Isuzu has turned over 15 units of its modern jeepney to the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETSCO). These jeepneys are equipped with a Euro 4 engine, an entry-exit door on the right side, seats for persons with disabilities, and an automatic fare collection system. To further add to the safe-worthiness of its modern jeepneys, Isuzu also placed fire extinguishers, LED electronic signs, and LED TV monitors which can be used as a tool to update passengers with real-time information.
DOTr says Isuzu will be handing a total of 35 modern jeepneys to the SETSCO. It will serve the Star City-Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route. It will also have stops at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Senate, and SM Mall of Asia (MOA) complex. Of note, the modern jeepneys deployed in SETSCO also come with a three-year warranty or 150,000 km, whichever comes first.
From the looks of it, the modern jeepney seems to have the qualities that are fit for it to become the new king. It is equipped with a cleaner diesel engine and it also comes with a new and safer vehicle platform. However, some people don’t want to embrace the change because the shift to modern jeepney is costly. How about you? Are you ready for the Philippines’ new king of the road?