With the government’s commitment to modernize the country’s public transport system and to protect the environment, the traditional jeepneys we grew accustomed to are bound to make way for a new king of the road which is he newly modernized jeepneys. The rise of the modern jeepney was now adopted in Pangasinan in the heart of Urdaneta City.
Last March 26, 2021, modernized jeepneys manufactured by Foton Company was launched in the City and to other nearby municipalities such as Pozorrubio, Carmen, and Dagupan City. The implications and objectives of the City Government is to coordinate with the LTFRB and Pangasinan Express Transport Cooperative (PETC) project through the flagship program of President Rodrigo R. Duterte aims to transform the road sector of public transport through making the country’s public transportation system efficient and environmentally though modernizing our public transportation in the country.
Furthermore, the program’s environmental and economic benefits will be felt by commuters, operators, and drivers alike: The changes in routes and optimized networks will be more convenient for commuters. Drivers will have better monthly salaries and benefits and their health will be better because of the reduced traffic congestion and pollution. Finally, operators will be able to accept more passengers with the reduced traffic and can reduce costs under the franchising scheme by sharing services. The program calls for the phasing-out jeepneys, buses and other Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) that are at least 15 years old and replacing them with safer, more comfortable and more environmentally-friendly alternatives.
According to PETC President Norberto Del Prado III, there will be a total f twenty-three (23) units approved in the bidding that costs Php 2,150,000.00 per unit. Moreover, the overall price estimated financing (Return of Investment/ROI) will take 7 years through Landbank. On the other hand, the driver’s salary is Php 340.00 per day (Pangasinan minimum wage) while the modern jeepney’s gross net daily average income is around Php 4,000.00 – Php 5,000.00.
As of now, PETC have 11 operational units and the upcoming units are still to follow. According to PETC drivers, only 15 passengers are allowed inside to maintain social distancing due to pandemic but once the situation went normal, there will be an approximate of more than thirty (30) passengers capacity.
Operational routes and stations in the City are Urdaneta-Pozorrubio-Urdaneta and Carmen,Rosales-Dagupan. Pick up point is located at SM Central Urdaneta while Carmen, Rosales-Dagupan pick up point is located at Magic Mall Urdaneta.
By: Jennifer C. Alcisto & Almer G. Baylon