Passengers can now travel via “first-class” modern jeepney from Alabang in Muntinlupa City to Calamba, Laguna for a fare of P60.
On Monday, the Department of Transportation announced that modern jeepneys of Saint Rose Transit Inc. have started plying the route between its terminal in Barangay Uno, Calamba and the stop at the Star Mall branch in Alabang and vice versa.
The transport agency said that this fleet is part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program that the national government had launched since 2017.
“Hindi lang komportable sa pasahero, environment-friendly pa! Yan ang mga modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) na mag-uumpisa nang tumakbo simula ngayon araw sa ruta mula Terminal ng Saint Rose Transit sa Calamba patungong Star Mall Alabang at pabalik,” the DOTr said.
“Nakikiisa ang Saint Rose Transit Inc. sa Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, na isinusulong ng Department of Transportation at Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board,” it added.
The DOTr also boasted that the P60 fare per ride is cost-effective because of the vehicle’s facilities. These include:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Dash cameras
- Cashless fare collection system
The official Facebook page of the fleet called Calamba-Alabang Modern Jeep also posted the same information on its account.
However, it did not provide any other necessary details such as the schedule of the buses, the device for the fare collection and the number of passengers per vehicle.
The DOTr, meanwhile, reminded the public to observe the basic health protocols when riding public transport such as wearing of face masks and shields as well as the no food and drinks policy and the practice of physical distancing.
“Pinapaalalahanan din ang mga pasahero na mahigpit na ipinatutupad ang 7 commandments o health at sanitation protocols sa mga pampublikong sasakyan, kagaya pagsusuot ng face mask, face shield, pagbabawal makipag-usap o pagsagot ng telepono, pagbabawal ng pagkain o kumain sa loob ng sasakyan at pagpapanatili ng nararapat na distansya sa pagitan ng bawat pasahero,” the agency said.
Last month, the Bagong Jeepney or BEEP Rides, a fleet from a different transport group, implemented the DOTr’s tap card scheme policy, which similar name drew confusion from commuters on its difference with the commonly used cashless payment, Beep cards.
Designs of modern jeepneys
Since the government announced the looming phase-out of traditional jeepneys, various manufacturers have rolled out and introduced different types or modes of modern jeepneys to the public.
In a photo album on Facebook on June 18, the DOTr showed photos of various designs of vehicles that are part of the comprehensive modernization program.
These buses are also carry cleaner, fuel-efficient engines and equipped with comfortable seats, automated fare collection systems, free Wi-Fi, CCTVs, dash cameras and other amenities.
“With this transformation, we foresee that the country’s public transportation will gradually change, with the modern PUVs as the ‘catalysts of growth,'” the post read.
In October 2019, several manufacturers such as Isuzu, GLC Truck and Equipment Corporation and Hyundai have showcased prototype models of modern jeepneys, all of which cost over P1 million.
Despite the intentions of modernizing the country’s mass transport, the expensive price tags drew heavy opposition from traditional jeepney operators and other progressive groups.
The government assured transport operators that they would be given a subsidy worth P80,000 to purchase the new units.