PH gov’t gives out first franchise for e-jeepney

In a historic moment for the country’s transportation sector, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) recently issued the country’s first electric public utility jeepney franchise to eJeepney Transport Corporation (EJTC).

The e-jeepneys plying the streets of Makati City are ready to move from test phase to formal commercial operations

The franchise comes three years after the first fleet on e-jeepneys were deployed in Makati City, the country’s financial capital, in a test phase.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), a sustainable transport advocate and climate policy think-tank, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), cited the government’s move as a major boost for the development of electric vehicles.

“Continuous operations of the eJeepney fleet in the last three years prove the technical viability of eJeepneys as a superior mode of public transport. Finally, the project has reached the commercial stage and we’re confident and raring to demonstrate the full viability of the project,” Red Constantino, director of iCSC, said in a statement.

Launched in 2007, the e-jeepney fleet initially covered two routes — the Salcedo Village Loop and Legaspi Village Loop in Makati City. 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. We are proud to help shape the investment agenda of the country,” Yuri Sarmiento, chief executive officer of EJTC, said in a statement.

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 e-jeepney operations by providing a roll-off, roll-on battery swapping program in Makati. The initiative increases the range and operational hours of e-jeepney fleets while dramatically reducing battery wear and tear.

“Makati 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.

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