Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Philippine Jeepney public transport

The popular jeepney of the Philippines is a common public transportation all over the country.  The jeepney started as a rear two-row-seater at the back converted from WWII MacArthur type Willy's jeeps.  Only three persons can be seated on each row.  In front, beside the driver, two passengers can be accommodated.
Two known manufacturers, Sarao and Francisco Motors, started making longer jeepneys that have either 10 or 12-seaters in the mid-1950s.  This meant larger income from more passengers in a single trip.  Some small motor shops followed suit fabricating longer jeepneys and one big automaker started making the Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV), the Ford Fiera.

From thereon, other major automotive makers joined a government program, Progressive Car Manufacturing Program (PCMP), to manufacture vehicles with high local content.  AUVs were easier and cheaper to manufacture than sedans that started in the mid 1970s.  The passenger capacity of jeepneys were just alright between 12 to 14 passengers.

Now 16 to 20-passengers, or even more, dominate the jeepney transportation lines.  Paying for your fare and getting your change from the driver, passes from one hand to another especially for those who are seated near the entrance.  The sickening thing about having so many "seaters", the jeepney does not leave its terminal until it's full. For jeepneys without terminals, they make frequent stops at loading areas to take on more passengers.  What happens with this is a short trip takes much longer time because of that.

The government, DOTC, are able to regulate taxi cabs' passenger capacity.  But why can't they do this with jeepneys?  Because the top government officials do not ride jeepneys and they don't even bother to take a look at what's happening.  

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