Meralco unit launches e-jeepney service
A newly formed, wholly owned subsidiary of Manila Electric Co. yesterday launched its public transport service using electric jeepneys in cooperation with the city governments of Makati and Mandaluyong.
eSakay Inc. officials said the company secured provisional authority to operate a fleet of 15 e-jeepneys plying the route between MRT Buendia Station and Mandaluyong City Hall via Jupiter Street in Makati.
A passenger is charged a minimum of P9 and a maximum of P15 for the 8-kilometer route.
“This project is just one of many steps in our efforts to spur electric vehicle adoption,” eSakay president and chief executive Raymond B. Ravelo said during an unveiling ceremony held at the Circuit Makati.
“With this route, we at eSakay hope to prove the viability of electric vehicles and inspire other operators to follow suit,” Ravelo added.
eSakay chair Alfredo S. Panlilio said the project was part of the Meralco group’s efforts to help rethink how public transportation is done.
Panlilio said the e-jeep fleet was unlike the traditional public utility jeepneys, which are mostly operated individually by different owners.
“Also, the drivers are salaried, paid on a monthly basis, instead of working under the ‘boundary’ system of the traditional jeepneys,” he added.
Panlilio said each e-jeepney unit costs almost P2 million, developed by an Israeli designer and built by a Chinese supplier.
The eSakay official said the company would evaluate the project after a few months toward making decisions on whether to expand the present fleet or look at other routes where the business model could be replicated.
Also, part of what will be considered is whether the Meralco group could go into the business of locally manufacturing the e-jeepneys.
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