By Alena Mae S. Flores
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi is treating the city’s yellow card holders to a E-Jeepney for Free program in line with its bid to be the greenest city in the country by deploying electric vehicles.
With this program, Muntinlupa clinches the title “E-jeepney Capital of the Philippines,” having the most number of e-jeepneys in a city, the environment-friendly transport being promoted by both the local government and the private sector.
Quiet but efficient e-jeepneys take residents from the hustle and the bustle of the city to the vast expanse and corporate ambiance of Filinvest City Alabang and to the cool and quiet surroundings of Ayala Alabang Village.
The city government uses a special card reader that keeps track of the yellow card holders who use the free green public transport system. If the passenger is not a yellow card holder, all he has to do is sign a logbook and the ride is free.
Rommel Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, said “it truly is a remarkable effort by the local government to introduce green transport to more commuters and gain acceptance for them. Their operations template is definitely something worth emulating by other LGUs in other parts of the country.”
At the Barangay Hall in Muntinlupa are 10 yellow e-jeepneys parked on their respective charging bays in a charging station. Just right across the Barangay Hall inside the South Star Jeepney Terminal, there are two Jeepney slots allotted specifically for e-jeepneys. Two additional e-jeepneys are fielded in Ayala Alabang Village.
But the biggest e-jeepney fleet in Muntinlupa is the public transport system being managed by the Electric Vehicle Expansion Enterprises Inc. inside Filinvest City Alabang.
EVEEI was permitted to operate a green fleet of electric jeeps within the 240-hectare Filinvest City, the flagship real-estate development of the Filinvest Development Group.
This e-jeepney program is called the Filinvest City 360 Eco Loop whose 20 e-jeeps serve workers, office staff, shoppers, visitors and residents of the huge mixed-use real estate development.
EVEEI general manager Rex Vergel says that a passengers in their e-jeeps enjoy fresh air and convenience.
“We effectively organized our e-jeepneys and determined the optimum dispatch schedule for them to maximize efficiency. We also learned much about battery charging and maintainance,” Vergel said.
The EVAP lauded Muntinlupa City’s green public transport that demonstates the political will of its eco-friendly officials.
“We hope that more cities introduce electric vehicle initiatives in their own areas in other parts of the country and push the modernization of our public transport system,” Juan said.