The jeepney has long been a part of Filipino tradition and culture. Recently, the Philippine government has started pushing for public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization to bring jeepneys and other PUVs into the 21st century.
In line with the government’s PUV modernization program and through the eSakay private sector partnership, 15 electric jeepneys were launched today to ply the Makati-Mandaluyong route. This route spans from Buendia MRT in Makati to Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter Street.
The eSakay jeepneys are operational from 5 A.M. to 12 midnight. The minimum fare is 9 pesos for the first 4 kilometers and 15 pesos for an end-to-end trip.
According to Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinian, the eSakay project is part of the company’s goal to become an end-to-end vehicle solutions provider.
“The government’s thrust in implementing the PUV modernization program opens up the opportunity to shift towards the safer, sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system,” Pangilinan said.
“Beyond supporting transport operators by supplying electric PUVs and building charging stations, we realized we could create greater impact by being one with them,” eSakay President and CEO Raymond Ravelo said. “From this was born our project to operate an electric jeepney route connecting Mandaluyong to the Makati Central Business District.”
eSakay is also looking to increase the number of electric jeepneys plying the Makati-Mandaluyong route. “Let’s see, if there’s a possibility if the demand is there, we will expand it,” eSakay Chairman Alfredo Panlilio said.
The environment-friendly eSakay jeepneys are compliant with Euro-4 emission standards and PUVMP specifications, and since they run on electricity, they produce no emissions.
eSakay e-jeepneys feature side entrances, onboard WiFi, GPs tracking systems, automated fare collection systems, CCTV cameras, and USB charging ports. The e-vehicles also have priority seats for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The electric jeepneys have a charging time of 8-10 hours and can travel up to 100 kilometers with a maximum speed of 60 kph. An eSakay jeepney can accommodate up to 40 passengers and costs ₱2 million each.
eSakay jeepney drivers earn a fixed monthly income, which removes the boundary system in accordance with the aim of the PUV modernization program to provide drivers and operators with a stable and decent livelihood.
“The eSakay team worked with the Makati and Mandaluyong LGUs to conduct community-based hiring for the route and also had successful discussions with transport associations in the area,” Ravelo added.
A subsidiary of Meralco, eSakay supports the Philippine government’s initiative to provide a safer, more sustainable and environmentally-friendly transportation system to the riding public. The company was established in March 2018 as “a wholly owned subsidiary… engaged in the business of owning, maintaining, and operating transport service networks of charging stations, batteries, and vehicles utilizing electric energy and other alternative energy sources.”
Photo credits: Department of Transportation