Free Rides on Solar-Fueled Public Transport in the Philippines
The newest Automologist to join us comes from the Philippines. KATHLEEN, in her first article, tells us how proud she is of her country giving free rides on environmentally friendly public transport.
Which would you prefer: a pollution-emitting cramp jeepney or a comfortable pollution-free solar-powered passenger mini-bus?
Addressing the worsening pollution and horrible traffic problem in the Philippines, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has launched SOLAR-POWERED MINI-BUSES in line with its campaign for a more efficient and environmentally friendly mass transportation system.
These Solar Mini-Buses, part of LTFRB’s Public Utility Vehicles Modernization Program, are now deployed along the ALABANG-ZAPOTE and BACLARAN-SUCAT routes. Operated by South Metro Transport Cooperative, using Star 8 Green Technology Corporation’s solar-powered units, these solar mini-buses is slowly wiping out the former “king of the road” jeepneys driven mostly by undisciplined drivers. The more buses of this nature are deployed, the faster the extinction of jeepneys will occur.
Now in full operation in the cities of Parañaque and Las Piñas.
The said transport units are not just environmentally better but also come with modern amenities like CCTV, GPS, Wi-Fi and Automated Fare Collection Systems. These solar-fueled units are, in essence, electrical vehicles as energy is stored in the batteries first before being used to power the vehicles. These batteries can take up to 10 hours to charge fully, hence, these buses can only operate 14 hours a day. It can accommodate up to 20 passengers with a minimum fare of 9 pesos each.
The good news is the city of Parañaque subsidizes the fare and lets residents ride for FREE. Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivares, a staunch environmentalist, is sending a strong message: “Let’s go Clean Energy, Lets Go Solar, it is so doable, it is so affordable.”
According to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, “Attention to all. This one will keep on continuing and there is no turning back. The seed of the modernization program that we planted is now sprouting.”
Here now is a practical modern technology and innovation serving the needs of the masses. There are now financing programs for drivers of conventional vehicles to acquire solar-fueled transport units. And, the riding public is really excited to shift to more comfortable, environmentally friendly vehicles. Solar transport is now a reality! And, it is FOR FREE IN PARANAQUE!
Congratulations, Parañaque. You are a model worth emulating.