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Revamping Public Transport?

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In 2018, the government will start to phase out older jeepneys and transition to more modern, better jeepneys. According to the article I read, jeepneys older than 15 years will be removed from service.

In a lot of ways, I really like this. A lot of jeepneys now are old and not efficient. Replacing these with newer, better jeepneys will be a huge improvement. Some of the ideas they were throwing around sounded really good too. Things like WiFi, CCTV and dash cams, even a GPS system. The WiFi idea sounds good and all, but this being the Philippines, I’m not gonna set my hopes too high for that.

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There are a couple things I wanna note though. First is capacity, according to the article, they are looking at increasing capacity, which I hope is true. I hate small jeepneys and depending on the route and how far I’m going, will most likely choose to wait for a bigger jeepney to come along. My legs and neck can only take the awkward sitting position for so long haha. The next thing is fare, with all these amenities planned, will the fare increase? I would think so. Right now, here in Davao, it’s P8 for most places I wanna go to, which is good. There’s maybe a small amount of wiggle room, like a few pesos, but I don’t think many people share that opinion. I think we might see different jeepneys with different fares and such. Like the deluxe jeepneys will have WiFi but cost, hmmm, maybe 1.5x? I really wouldn’t know, but having different jeepneys with different fares sounds like a huge pain. Maybe separating them based on the routes will work, longer routes have more amenities and such. These changes kinda make them look more and more like buses now.

Another thing I kind of wanted to touch on since we are talking public transport, is a train system in Davao. There were a lot of rumors a few years back. People said the city government would hire Koreans or something to build it. It really would be a good thing to have here, having another option for getting around the city. Right now, traffic is really bad here, getting to places that used to take 30 minutes might take an hour now depending on the time of day you go. I think an MRT system would help lessen congestion and be an efficient way to get around the city if they planned it well. I hope more news pops up about this soon, there was a lot of hype around it after all.

I’m hopeful that the changes will be good. As long as the plan for bigger jeepneys actually comes through then I’ll be glad. Whoever thought those really small multicabs can be jeepneys either hated tall people or had never seen a tall person in their life. WiFi would be nice but I don’t expect it to be good (more like most likely unusable). We’ll see how it goes next year.

AJ Martin

Aaron Martin, also called "AJ," is the son of Bob & Feyma Martin. Aaron is a graduate at Ateneo de Davao University High School in Davao City, Philippines. Aaron was born in the USA, but has lived in the Philippines since age 3.

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AJ UKGary Neil DaddsBill davisHorace BowersAaron Martin Recent comment authors
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Steve Ballantyne
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Steve Ballantyne

Sure, get rid of the old jeepney, double or triple the fares, and drop the ‘people capacity’ on each route. Only the poor will suffer, but they don’t matter anyways, right? The replacement scheme is very poorly thought out, but I guess those in charge will get great kick backs. What would have been smarter would have been a grant to owners to improve the existing jeepneys. Just think, who makes ALL the money off the existing plan?

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

The problem is most of the jeepneys out there right now are pretty far from maintained properly. Most probably have pieces of string holding them together. At that point a replacement would be better. I do agree that they need to keep the poor in mind otherwise there will be a lot of push back.

Steve Ballantyne
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Steve Ballantyne

And the ones in the replacement program thrill everyone with lots of money, with wifi etc, but they are very expensive. The poor won’t be able to afford to ride. A far better system would be safety inspections, and a limit on condition allowed. Everyone knows if it goes ahead there will be far less jeepneys and far higher prices. Won’t work in Philippines!!

Gary Neil Dadds
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Gary Neil Dadds

Designated stops would help stops a lot of the chaos

Alex Kennedy
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Alex Kennedy

You mentioned old and inefficient but you didn’t mention if those old jeepneys are safe.

Bob - Expat Answer Man
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The far as i could tell hits article was not about safety. He also didn’t mention it meals are served but that is also obvious.

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

Yeah true, most of the jeepneys on the road probably aren’t as safe as we like to think haha

Greg Schulze
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Nice Article AJ. I too would like to keep up to date on this. Thanks for your take on the subject. I think that instead of building brand new ones that most of the current owners will not be able to afford, they should give the owners some type of incentive to up date their Jeepneys.

Bob New York
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Bob New York

Rather than replace older and maybe not so old jeepneys, if they were maintained better such as regular tuneups and other maintenance would improve the existing situation. Impose and enforce stricter polution standards etc. Many of the engines we used to have here in the USA did not make as much polution as is often implied as long as the engines were operated within manufacturer specs but those engines could run even if they were well out of spec due to lack of proper maintenance. I think many jeepneys there in PH just keep being used til the engine dies… Read more »

Panama C
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Panama C

New pollution regulations enforced by the very reputable emissions testing facilities around town? Maybe the same inspector that gives out fire inspection certificates should also be involved.

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

Very true… I’m sure if you check any jeepney on the road right now, you’ll see some kind of bush fix on them, using pieces of string or whatever they could find. I’m sure this isn’t good for the engines which means less efficiency.

John Reyes
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John Reyes

I am all for modernizing public transportation, including phasing out jeepneys that are 15 years old. Soon, this cultural icon that was once an integral part of Philippine life will fade from memory. I hope someone will have the presence of mind to preserve a working jeepney, as we remember it, in a national museum for posterity.

Aaron Martin
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Aaron Martin

I’m sure someone will. It’s too iconic not to have some sort of remembrance.

Horace Bowers
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Horace Bowers

Great article

Bill davis
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Bill davis

Jeepney problems are symptomatic of the privatised transport chaos throughout the Philippines. Here in Mindanao, cities eg Gensan, Marbel are being choked to death by tricycles. In Davao, try navigating CMRecto street through the chaos of vans. Watch every bus go through the red light at McArthur/Quimpo. Try getting a taxi at NAIA past the touts.

The problem going back through generations of government neglect is that there is no true PUBLIC TRANSPORT system.

Hope Rody has enough political capital to ignore PISTON and get things moving towards the public transport set-up other countries have had for generations.

AJ UK
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AJ UK

Hi AJ

This video shows the future I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkQ1Kt-1zfE

As for the new roads around Davao, apparently some projects have started but how long they take remains to be seen.

Some progress shots here –

https://www.facebook.com/DavaoConstructions/photos/a.1940942052598664.1073741829.1827627523930118/2084077838285084/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/DavaoConstructions/photos/a.1940942052598664.1073741829.1827627523930118/2109599589066242/?type=3&theater

Cheers

AJ UK

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