By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
Seven fully air-conditioned jeepneys operated by the Iloilo City Alliance Operators and Drivers Transport Cooperative (ICAODTC) started plying the streets of Iloilo City on Thursday.
Rizal Alido, president of City Loop Integrated Alliance of Jeepney Owners and Drivers’ Association (CLIAJODA) and board secretary of ICAODTC said the seven initial PUJs will service the Iloilo Terminal and General Services Inc. (ITGSI) terminal in Barangay Ungka, Jaro district going to the City Proper via Jaro CPU and vice versa.
“Nakabatyag na sila sang kasulhay kag maayo nga pagbyahe bangod mas komportable na ang ila nabatyagan,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
According to Alido, they are still waiting for the Local Route Transport Plan (LRTP) of the city government to determine the number of units to be deployed to the said route.
“As of now, around 600-700 old jeepneys are servicing the route. But since the modern jeepneys have bigger capacity we are expecting a decrease in the number od the old jeepneys,” he said.
By December, Alido said a total of 28 units of modern PUJs will serve the ITGSI route and the Villa Baybay to City Proper and vice versa route.
Each modern jeepney costs more than P2 million and can carry 25 passers.
These are also equipped with an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) and beep card which can be used nationwide.
Emelianita Mendonez, 65, of Badiangan, Iloilo said she enjoyed the comfort and convenience of the modern jeepneys.
Compared to the ordinary jeepneys, Mendonez said she prefers riding the modern jeepneys despite the higher fare because of the guaranteed convenience and safe ride.
“Kompara sa daan nga jeep, mas mayad tana ja maskin may kamalahan at least aircon and indi siksikan. Maayo maskin may kamahalan convenient ang pagpungko kag kung jeep kis-a iban wala pa kapaligo and iban hubog pa,” she said.
Mendoza paid P11.40 for her ride as modern jeepneys charge P10.20 for the first five kilometers and P1.20 for the succeeding kilometer.
This is P3 higher compared to the basic P7 fare of senior citizens in the ordinary jeepneys.