Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Makati E-Jeep

Gasoline prices continue to go up by PHP1.50 every week. The Makati central business district (CBD) has at least taken some actions. While driving around Legaspi Village this morning, I came across this E-Jeep. Its an electric-powered public utility jeepney plying the CBD routes.

At first look, its just like any other jeepney except a bit smaller. But what caught my attention was the banner on the side saying, of course, "E-Jeep" and that they were offering FREE rides. I think they are still on a trial run and the free ride offer is valid only for 1 month.

The banner also says that it is powered by Motolite. It would be very interesting if the world-wide web business model where services are offered for free in exchange for ads/promotions by big companies, can be adapted to this situation. Would electric car battery companies be interested to operate these free public service in exchange for promoting their brands?

Well, if there's anything good that came out of this gasoline price increases, its that traffic has been reduced in Metro Manila (by 10% as of this month according to MMDA statistics), and that carbon emission has lessened because more people are taking public transport. The government still has to improve its mass transport systems like the MRT and LRT though. The jeepneys and buses do not really contribute much to the lessening of pollution. If Metro Manila only had an efficient public mass transport system like those found in Hong Kong or Tokyo, there would really not be much need to drive around the city.