Asia - Philippines / Transport

Passenger jeepneys are also facing increasing restrictions and regulations for pollution controls, as they increase amounts of traffic and consume lots of fuel. A recent study published in a Metro Manila newspaper compared the fuel use of a 16-passenger jeepney to a 54-passenger air-conditioned bus and found that the fuel consumption for both was the same. With major roads clogged by empty jeepneys cruising for fares, there is intense pressure to remove them from the streets of Metro Manila and other cities.

The cost for a new jeepney will also rise due to the increased costs of raw materials like steel and the need to use new engines to power their vehicles. The supply of remanufactured used engines is slowly dropping as wear and age take their toll and the number of factories that rebuild engines diminishes.

The jeepney industry has evolved more quickly in the past 2 years than it has in the past 50 years. Many local manufacturers are moving to build more modern-looking jeepneys such as Hummer lookalikes and oversized Toyota van-style passenger jeepneys with Toyota headlights, hoods and bumpers. Manufacturers in Nueva Ecija also started making jeepneys with fronts resembling AUVs like the Honda CR-V or the Toyota Tamaraw. Already in production is a jeepney the size of a small bus and is equipped with state-of-the-art vehicle technology (brand-new engine and drivetrain) and Thermo-King-brand airconditioning intended for buses. Local automobile parts manufacturers are now planning the production of electricity-run jeepneys.

 

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Taken on April 4, 2007
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