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Jumbo jeepneys launched

- Sandy  Araneta () - February 3, 2006 - 12:00am
A new mode of transport will soon hit the roads of Metro Manila and in major cities of the country as "jumbo jeepneys" are set to receive franchises from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The jumbos, which are a coaster-type, 30-seater airconditioned jeepneys, were launched yesterday at the LTFRB office.

Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza said the country needs these types of public utility vehicles since they are suitable for the narrow streets of Metro Manila.

"We need public transport like this. And from my own personal assessment, a 30-seater public utility vehicle is one that will actually provide the needs of our travelers, particularly because of the narrow streets that we have, not only here in Metro Manila, but in other parts of the country," Mendoza said in his speech during yesterday’s launching.

Mendoza said the jeepneys have undergone major changes since Filipinos transformed US patrol jeeps into a vehicle for transporting passengers after World War II.

"The jeepney has indeed evolved," he said.

Mendoza, together with LTFRB chief Elena Bautista, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Assistant Secretary Anneli Lontoc, and the jumbo jeepney inventor Orlando Marquez led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Marquez, also the chairman of the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association Inc. (MJODA), said each 30-seater jumbo jeepney costs P1.8 million. It is powered by an Isuzu engine and comes with airconditioning.

Mendoza praised Marquez for his invention, which he described as "acceptable and efficient."

"It is an effective mode of transport. The DOTC supports the endeavor of Marquez," the transport secretary said.

Mendoza said the jumbo jeepney is indeed a symbol of Philippine ingenuity, one that passed all safety standards.

"We are endorsing this," he said. "This is exactly what we need for our own narrow streets," he said.

For her part, Bautista said the government continues to improve its services and to encourage people to use public transport. 

"We are now improving services, hopefully in the future, to be comparable with those abroad," she said.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY ANNELI LONTOC DRIVERS ASSOCIATION INC ELENA BAUTISTA LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE MARQUEZ MENDOZA METRO MANILA ORLANDO MARQUEZ TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY LEANDRO MENDOZA
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