THE CITY of Muntinlupa has ordered 10 electric jeepneys for a fleet of vehicles that will be deployed in a free-ride program between two commercial centers, the Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines (EVAP) said.
EVAP said the city’s electric-Jeepney Ride for Free (e-JRF) — will shuttle passengers between Starmall to South Station and vice versa.
Commuters holding the Muntinlupa Care Card are eligible to use the service.
“This Care Card hopes to have every program of the local government accessible to every member of the Muntinlupeño family,” Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi said in the statement.
“Card holders can have access to rides on the e-JRF, free insurance to cover even fatal accidents and subsidies (for treatment at) Ospital ng Muntinlupa,” added Grace Salvador of the Muntinlupa People’s Coordinating Office.
Sales manager John Marasigan of the jeepneys’ supplier, PhUV, Inc. said: “Muntinlupa truly exemplifies a progressive city which is willing to make a difference by sustaining the environment and protecting the health of its constituents.”
“With e-Jeepneys plying Muntinlupa, pollution will be reduced and the riding public will have access to a cleaner and modern mode of transport. We hope other cities will follow suit,” he added.
EVAP said PhUV is the pioneer in the local assembly of electric vehicles in the Philippines.
EVAP projects sales of 23,500 electric vehicles (EV) for this year, composed of 20,000 e-bikes or e-motorcyles, 3,000 e-trikes, and 500 e-jeepneys.
By end-2015, almost 40,000 electric vehicles are expected to be on Philippine roads, it said.
The group also noted that many financing firms are already supporting EVs, which seems to be the latest trend in the country’s public transportation sector.
In January 2014, BPI Globe BanKO signed an agreement with the local government of Malay in Aklan and Gerweiss Motors Corp. to grant loans for electric tricycles, replacing Boracay Island’s 536 conventionally-powered tricycles.
The Development Bank of the Philippines is also offering a Green Vehicles loan. — Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano