In line with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) massively ambitious Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), end-to-end transport solutions provider eSakay, along with partners from the private sector, national government, and local government units (LGU), recently introduced an electric vehicle (EV) fleet that will operate in the busy commuting routes between the cities of Makati and Mandaluyong.
eSakay’s EVs, also known as electric jeeps or eJeeps, are 100% electric and emission-free, compliant with PUV innovations for the convenience and safety of commuters. They also feature side entrances, onboard Wi-Fi, an automated fare collection system, GPS tracking system, CCTV cameras, USB ports that allow passengers to recharge their devices, and others. The service will also include priority seating for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. A total of 15 eJeeps are designated to travel the Buendia MRT Station-Mandaluyong City Hall via the Jupiter Street developmental route.
“Meralco has long been an advocate for the wider use of electric vehicles in the country with the EV shuttling service and electric bike sharing program at the Meralco Center in Ortigas. It soon became clear to us that electric vehicles were indeed a viable transport solution. That’s when we partnered with private companies, government institutions and now, public transport operators who expressed keen interest in utilizing EVs for their transport needs,” said eSakay Chairman and Meralco Senior Vice President Alfredo S. Panlilio.
The EVs are expected to lessen the traffic woes in Metro Manila. Statistics from 2017 revealed more than 10.4 million vehicles traverse the country’s road network, with 2.5 million of those 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. Reports from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) indicate that the total vehicle sales hit 425,673 units last year. The presence of more vehicles also presents environmental concerns. With the EVs independent from the use of fossil fuels, carbon emissions should no longer be a concern.
In connection with the PUVMP’s vision of ensuring drivers and operators a stable, sufficient, and dignified livelihood, eSakay is also working with the Makati and Mandaluyong LGUs to conduct community-based hiring and have successful discussions with transport associations in the area.
“Beyond supporting transport operators by supplying ePUVs and building charging stations, we realized that we could create a greater impact by being one with them. From this, was born our project to operate an electric jeepney route connecting Mandaluyong to the Makati CBD” said eSakay President/CEO and Meralco Vice President Raymond B. Ravelo at the unveiling.