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Electronic vehicles to alleviate Metro Manila traffic woes

Credit: Manila Bulletin

An electronic vehicle (EV) fleet was recently introduced in line with the massively ambitious Public Utility Vehicle Modernisation Program (PUVMP) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

According to a recent report, the EVs, which are 100% electric and emission-free, will operate in the busy commuting routes between the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong.

The project was made possible through the collaboration among the national government, the local government units (LGUs) and end-to-end transport solutions provider of the EV.

Also known as electric jeeps or eJeeps, the electronic vehicles are compliant with the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) innovations for the convenience and safety of commuters.

Some of their features include side entrances, on-board Wi-Fi, an automated fare collection system, GPS tracking system, CCTV cameras, and USB ports that allow passengers to recharge their devices, among others.

The service will also include priority seating for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWD).

A total of 15 eJeeps are designated to travel the Buendia MRT Station-Mandaluyong City Hall via the Jupiter Street developmental route.

The Chairman of the transport solutions provider and also the Senior Vice-President of an electric power distribution company in the Philippines has shared that the utility company has long been an advocate for the wider use of electric vehicles in the county.

The company uses an EV shuttling service and electric bike sharing program within its compound in Ortigas and it soon became clear to the company that EVs were indeed a viable transport solution.

This led to them to partnering with private companies, government institutions and at present, public transport operators who expresses keen interest in utilising electronic vehicles for their transport needs.

It is expected that the EVs will contribute to the lessening of traffic woes in Metro Manila. Statistics from 2017 revealed that more than 10.4 million vehicles traverse the country’s road network.

2.5 million of those are concentrated in the overburdened streets of Metro Manila alone.

Contributing to the problem is the continuing increase in the number of vehicles in the country. Moreover, the presence of more vehicles also presents environmental concerns.

Since the electronic vehicles are free from the use of fossil fuels, carbon emissions should no longer be a concern.

The end-to-end transport company is working with the local government units of Makati and Mandalyung to conduct community-based hiring and had successful discussions with transport associations in the area.

This is in connection with the vision of the PUVMP, which is a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.

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