RIZAL, Nueva Ecija – Nueva Ecija’s version of the modern jeepney was unveiled here for the first time last week by a joint vendor-farmer cooperative based in this town.
The Rizal Public Market Vendors and Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (RPMVFMPC) led by its president Oscar Lagajeno launched the province’s first modern jeepney in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Department of Transportation, Land Transportation Office, Office of Transportation Cooperative, Cooperative Development Authority and Hino.
Lagajeno said an initial four units of this modernized jeepney, which costs at P2.45 million each, will start plying the Rizal to Cabanatuan City route and vice-versa, connecting this town, parts of Llanera and Talavera and Cabanatuan City.
He said a “pandemic rate” of P80 will be charged to students, senior citizens and persons with disabilities while the regular fare is pegged at P100 per passenger.
Lagajeno added the new modern jeepney is air-conditioned and equipped with free wi-fi and GPS monitoring system, as well as a mobile phone charging system.
Due to the current pandemic, only 50 percent of the total bus capacity for passengers is allowed in compliance with the IATF safety protocols against COVID-19, said Lagajeno.
The RPMVFMPC sponsored a free ride of the modern jeepney during its “point-to-point” pilot run last week with the first trip starting at 6 a.m. in Rizal and last trip at 6 p.m. at the Cabanatuan City Central Transport Terminal.
The modern jeepney was launched by the DOTr in 2017 as part of the Duterte administration’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program that aims to replace old and dilapidated jeepneys to make the country’s public transport system efficient and environment-friendly by 2020.