Manny Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) on Monday signed definitive agreements to purchase significant minority stake in Byahe (registered as On-Us Solutions Inc). The investment will be made through MPT Mobility Corp., MPTC’s unit for mobility services.
MPTC’s investment in Byahe is part of the Group’s push towards increasing its investments in sustainable transportation and mobility solutions. The investment in Byahe followed close on the heels of the launch of its mobile app, MPT DriveHub, that integrates MPTC’s expressway and mobility products and services in a digital platform in the hands of its customers. The two latest corporate milestones are steps closer to actualizing MPTC’s revitalized vision of becoming a premier mobility enabler.
As part of this agreement, MPTC will infuse fresh equity in Byahe, which will be used to finance expansion of its current Euro-IV compliant fleet, procurement of new state-of-the-art electric jeepneys, and expansion of its route network as part of its larger mission to revolutionize Philippines’ jeepney transportation ecosystem.
Co-founded by Enrique Gonzalez, CEO of IP Ventures Inc, and Brian Cu, ex-CEO of Grab Philippines in 2018, Byahe is addressing the structural gaps in the successful implementation of the Government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Byahe is a platform that connects jeepney operators, creditors, jeepney manufacturers, the government, and ultimately, commuters to usher in a new era of safe, affordable & sustainable public transportation services network.
To build this ecosystem, Byahe positioned itself as a modernized Jeepney operator (MPUJ) in line with the DOTR’s PUV modernization program. It currently manages a fleet of 30 modernized jeepneys, all of which are Euro-IV compliant, that ply over 8 routes across in the NCR and other parts of Luzon. It plans to expand its fleet to 200 jeepneys in the near term and to 500 jeepneys across 20-30 routes over the next 2 to 3 years, fuelled by the capital infusion by MPTC.
Contrary to popular belief, this growth in modernized jeepney operations will revitalize a severely fragmented and depressed sector, positively impact traffic conditions in urban centers; bring a network effect that will help improve the economy, and most importantly, provide stable income for traditional jeepney drivers and the opportunity to uplift their lives and that of their families.
This investment in Byahe is consistent with the Group’s transformation into mobility solutions, especially when seen in light of its stated sustainability objectives of improving the quality of life of Filipinos through rigorous focus on Progress, Planet & People.
“We are very excited to partner with Enrique, Brian and Byahe’s CEO Laurence Bahia and support their mission of building a safe & sustainable transportation ecosystem of the future. We believe there is immense value in what Byahe could create for the improvement of Filipino lives. They have started strong with a well-thought strategy, have been executing well even through the pandemic and we’re excited to support them on this clean, green journey” said MPTC President and CEO Rodrigo Franco upon signing of the investment agreement on March 7, 2022.
“We are very excited to have the Metro Pacific Tollways on-board our journey of revolutionizing Philippines’ urban transportation. We are only in phase 1.0 of building a nation-wide, green & sustainable unban transportation network that will redefine the quality of Filipino lives in the decades to come. To have the backing and stewardship of Mr. Pangilinan and to be able to leverage the experience of the institutions that he has created is a great honor & privilege, especially so early on in our journey” said Enrique Gonzalez and Brian Cu at the signing ceremony.
“With Metro Pacific Tollways’ support, we are looking forward to the next step in our journey of providing safe, comfortable, reliable, and predictable public transport system to Filipino commuters with the use of modern jeepneys. We’re here to modernize, not only the carriers, but also the operations with fleet management solutions that will standardize the service. Improving our public transport system is a continuous journey and we are looking forward in getting the support and cooperation of all our stakeholders for a better Filipino commuting experience.”, said Laurence Bahia, Chief Executive Officer, Byahe.