E-Jeepneys hit the streets of Makati: clean, green ride for all

Manila, 1 July 2008–GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer) and Greenpeace today inaugurated the commercial run of innovative electric-powered jeepneys, or E-Jeepeneys, which will now ply a commercial route in Makati City’s Central Business District, the country’s financial center. [Click to view related videos]

The first public transport system of its kind in Southeast Asia, the E-Jeepney intends to steer clear of the use of fossil fuels to help mitigate climate change while addressing problems such as air pollution, solid waste, and rising oil prices. It does so as part of the Climate Friendly Cities project, an integrated transport and waste management initiative pioneered by a consortium of organizations led by GRIPP with Greenpeace, together with various cities and private sector players. The project demonstrates that cities can take the lead in helping address global climate change by promoting sustainable transport tied in with renewable energy-based technologies.

The E-Jeepneys ply their commercial route three days to the year the first two test units were launched in Makati City. The DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communication) Planning and Transport Division only released the E-Jeepney’s guidelines for registration last April 28, allowing it on public roads ten months after the E-Jeepney’s introduction. The final wait before the E-Jeepney’s full operation is the go-signal from the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising Board) which will authorize the franchise and fare.

“After a long period of waiting we are very happy that E-Jeepneys have now been given the green light to ply commercial routes first in the City of Makati, one of our champion cities. Soon the E-Jeepney will be in the Cities of Puerto Prinsesa, Bacolod, and Baguio,” said GRIPP Chairperson Athena Ballestros.

“The Electric Jeepney is a win-win solution for all stakeholders. It provides a climate-friendly alternative to polluting, fossil-fuel based modes of transport, and enhanced income to jeepney drivers. The government should be embracing this project instead of letting the proponents suffer from long delays in licensing and registration procedures,” she added.

A total of four units manufactured locally by GRIPP partner MVPMAP (Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines), will initially make its rounds in Legazpi and Salcedo Villages in Makati City. The number will steadily be increased to fifty also as new routes are determined. The fare is waived for the first couple of weeks while the LTFRB’s decision is pending.

“Given skyrocketing fossil fuel prices and the imminent threat of dangerous climate change caused largely by fossil fuels, innovations such as the E-Jeepney, which promote renewable energy solutions, should be the technology of choice of developing countries like ours. The Philippines stands to lose opportunities with the current oil crisis, and we stand to lose even more lives and livelihoods with the onset of severe climate change impacts,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez. “Clearly, urgent solutions are needed. Aside from initiatives by cities such as this project, the national government should institute large-scale climate change solutions such as phasing out coal-fired power plants, and the immediate passage of a strong renewable energy legislation by the Senate.”

The project is sponsored in part by the Dutch Doen Foundation and is currently supported by Makati, Baguio and Puerto Princesa Cities.