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COMET E-Shuttles Officially “Lands” in Valenzuela City

COMET E-Shuttles lands in Valenzuela City
Valenzuela City Mayor REX Gatchalian and GET Philippines Managing Director Mr. Anthony Dy signs the Memorandum of Agreement for the first commercial operations of the COMET E-shuttles in Valenzuela City. Joining them are Senator WIN Gatchalian, the City Council, Mr. Melvin Sixto Nubla of SMART Communications, Inc., and Mr. Gilbert Milana, President of Globe Maritime Training Center, December 06. (Percival de Guzman/VC PIO)

COMET, known as Community Optimized Managed Electric Transport, officially “lands” in Valenzuela City and will “take off” its first LGU commercial operations starting this month paving the way to a safer, more environment-friendly, and more comfortable new mode of transport in the City.

Signing of Agreement today, the City Government of Valenzuela and Global Electric Transport (GET) Philippines enters a partnership wherein these COMET electric shuttles or e-shuttles will now ply the Valenzuela line which will run from Puregold Valenzuela in Barangay Dalandanan to Estancia Mall in Pasig City with designated loading and unloading stops in between.

Last November 15, 2018, GET Philippines launched the COMET prototype in Valenzuela City during the City’s celebration of its 395th Foundation Day. Fast forward to 2021 and looking forward to the end of the pandemic, Valenzuelanos will now experience the more convenient and state-of-the-art COMET e-shuttles as one of their options for commuting.

Mr. Freddie Tinga, President of GET Philippines, extends his gratitude to Valenzuela City with the outcome of the partnership, “Kami ho ang nagpapasalamat sa inyo… Napakatagal niyong tiniis at tyinaga bago namin maipadala ito [COMET e-shuttles]. Tyinaga niyo ho kami, dumating ang pandemic, bumagal ang production namin… Kami po ay nasisiyahan na naging partner namin ang Valenzueala… Nag-rollout ho kami ng iba ibang prototype sa ibang mga lugar, pero this will be the first production run for our COMET electric shuttles sa Valenzuela.”

COMET E-Shuttles lands in Valenzuela City
PWD-friendly: COMET e-shuttles are PWD accessible with ramps installed on each minibus, December 06. (Kevin Gatchalian/VC PIO)

Though in the body of a minibus, a COMET e-shuttle has the same engineering as that of a Formula E race car. Each electric bus is also air-conditioned, PWD accessible, community WiFi-enabled, GPS tracked and fleet managed, has roomy interiors, and has a passenger capacity of 30 persons. Its free WiFi is provided by SMART Communications, Inc.

Aside from this, it also has a fast charger network which allows the e-shuttle to operate on a nearly 24/7 basis, catering to commuters day and night.

COMET E-Shuttles lands in Valenzuela City
More COMET e-shuttles are expected in Valenzuela City as the first LGU commercial operations of GET Philippines. Starting today, eight (8) COMET e-shuttles can now be seen along MacArthur Highway, December 06. (Clinton Ramos/VC PIO)

Eight (8) COMET e-shuttles will operate in Valenzuela City starting today. The number of shuttles is expected to increase as the local government deploys the new transpo player available for the public.

COMET passengers must have their own GETPASS accounts by installing the GETPASS mobile application available at Google Playstore, Apple App Store, or through https://getph.carrd.co/. The app utilizes cashless tickets and monitors for information and ride monitoring of COMET e-shuttles. Passengers can also subscribe to Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan at Kalikasan (KKK) Organization and SMART to get their free points.

Passengers pay their fare using the points they have acquired through subscriptions or through purchasing tokens in the app. For actual payment of the fare, the passenger taps the generated QR code from the GETPASS app upon boarding and getting off the minibus.

In its passenger points arrangement, the following are the points needed based on the number of kilometers:

  • First 5km – 15 points
  • >5km to 10km – 20 points
  • >10km to 15km – 30 points
  • >15km to 20km – 30 points
  • >20km to 25km – 40 points
  • >25km to 40km – 50 points

In the agreement, Valenzuela City shall provide qualified professional drivers for the vehicle, adequate parking space and security, designated stops for loading and unloading of passengers, location for charging stations, and subsidy on the cost of electricity consumed while charging in Valenzuela City. GET Philippines, in turn, will provide training for the drivers, installment of chargers, passenger and accident insurance coverage, repair and maintenance of the minibuses, orientation for registered users, and access and training to the GETSET Backend System.

For its revenue-sharing agreement, the local government will receive 3% of the shuttle revenues per month, 3% of ad revenues, 10 hours of onboard TV airtime per day on the fleet, and 30,000 free points per month.

COMET E-Shuttles lands in Valenzuela City
Each COMET electric bus is air-conditioned, PWD accessible, community WiFienabled, GPS tracked and fleet managed, has roomy interiors, and has a passenger capacity of 30 persons, December 06. (Percival de Guzman/VC PIO)

In today’s ceremony, City and Barangay Officials together with GET Philippines, SMART, and Globe Maritime Training Center executives experienced the “COMET journey” from the Valenzuela City Hall to SM Valenzuela and back.

The Launching and Signing of Agreement with GET Philippines is also graced by Senator WIN Gatchalian, Mr. Melvin Sixto Nubla of SMART Communications, Inc., Mr. Gilbert Milana, President of Globe Maritime Training Center, and Puregold Valenzuela Leasing Manager Ms. Nanette Racal.

In his speech, Senator WIN Gatchalian, also the Chairman of the Senate Committee of Energy, expresses his excitement for the rollout of the program as he anticipates the passing of “Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act” in the country.

“Napakaganda teknolihiya ito… Buong mundo papunta na dito eh, sa electric vehicles… Kaya nga natutuwa ho ako at masaya tayo dahil tayo ang unang unang LGU na mayroon ng electric vehicles o electric bus na mayroong advanced na application para sa taong bayan… Congratulations sa Lungsod ng Valenzuela at sa council,” Senator WIN said.

“Sila lang ‘yung bukod tangi na may ganitong produkto… Alam natin na napakaraming taga-Valenzuela ang nagtra-trabaho sa Cubao at sa Ortigas… Umaabot pa nga ng Makati. Marami tayong mga constituent dito na hirap na hirap sumakay lalo na kapag umaga, nagbabalyahan sa jeep, sa bus, tapos noong nagkaroon ng pandemic nabawasan pa ‘yung kapasidad. Ang hahaba ng pila,” Mayor REX Gatchalian stressed.

COMET E-Shuttles lands in Valenzuela City

Mayor REX adds, “Ito, komportable kasi may app siya. Lahat ng mga magiging miyembro nito na ‘yung sakay din niya, makikita mo kung saan ‘yung ruta ng sasakyan kapag padating na siya. Ang next feature niya is by reservation… So hindi ka na mangangamba kung wala kang masakyan… Ito ‘yung solusyon kasi nga ito ay kumbiniyente kasi may app na siya. Safe din siya kasi hindi siya mag-o-overload at pinag-aralan nila ‘yung disenyo.”

As efficient transportation and liveability initiatives lie true in the mandate of Valenzuela City in good governance, these COMET e-shuttles will not only help Valenzuelanos in their daily commute but will also help reduce the perennial problem of air pollution and traffic congestion in the metro.

In its efforts, Valenzuela City is also finishing up its bicycle lanes along MacArthur Highway and has revised its Land Transportation Code toward friendlier and inclusive roads in the City.

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