MANILA, Philippines, February 19, 2012 – A sustainable transport advocate and climate policy think-tank has commended the Land Transporation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for issuing the country’s first electric public utility jeepney franchise.
The franchise issued to eJeepney Transport Corporation (EJTC) was “one small step for the ejeepney, (and) one giant leap for Filipinos,” said the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC).
“Continuous operations of the eJeepney fleet in the last three years proves the technical viability of eJeepneys as a superior mode of public transport,” said iCSC director Red Constantino.
“Finally the project has reached the commercial stage and we’re confident and raring to demonstrate the full viability of the project,” added Constatino.
Launched to international acclaim in 2007, the eJeepney fleet initially covered two routes, the Salcedo Village Loop and Legaspi Village Loop.
A third loop called the Heritage Route has been added and is currently in the test phase.The commercial run starting March 1 covers only the Salcedo and Legaspi Loops.
“This move by the LTFRB shows the quality of leadership of the Aquino administration. This is not only about better transport but green jobs and green growth,” said Yuri Sarmiento, chief executive officer of EJTC.
“We are proud to help shape the investment agenda of the country,” added Sarmiento. Constantino said, “The government’s role is critical, having provided conducive space for innovative collaboration between the public and private sector. The ejeepneys represent the fruit of shared leadership.”
In 2011, iCSC inaugurated the country’s flagship battery swapping program to assist in the eJeepney operations by providing a pioneering roll-off, roll-on battery swapping program in Makati.
The initiative increases the range and operational hours of eJeepney fleets while dramatically reducing battery wear and tear.
“This is just the beginning. What we envision is a sustainable and efficient public transport solution that can be replicated all over the country,” Sarmiento said.
Photo by iCSC