An initial pair of low-emission and environment-friendly buses are set to ply the streets of in Makati this week, following the footsteps of the electric jeepney or e-jeepney that were deployed in the city a couple of years back.
But unlike the e-jeepney which are assembled in the country, the hybrid buses are imported from China, according to its local operator Green Frog Transport Corp.
The buses are parallel electric hybrids, which means they are simultaneously powered by an electric motor and a Euro 3 diesel. The buses also emit less particulate emission or the black soot that comes out of the tail pipe as compared to a typical diesel engine bus.
Philip Apostol, Green Frog managing director, said the first route, to be called the M1 route, will navigate through Buendia and Kalayaan, the major avenues of South Superhighway, Roces, Ayala, Makati Ave., Paseo de Roxas, Edsa and C5.
Commuter will be charged a flat rate of P15.00, cheaper by around P5.00 compared to jeepneys in the same route from point to point.
According to Apostol, other features of the hybrid buses include six closed-circuit television cameras, high-powered air conditioners, a GPS system that tracks the location of each bus, coral-colored people with disability, elderly and pregnant seats, luggage and shopping bag racks, and low floors for easy entry and exit.
Each bus has a 27-seating capacity but can accommodate as much as 50 persons.
Apostol said the company has been granted the first franchise to operate low emissions hybrid buses in the Philippines. Within the next six months, he said the plan is for the 15-kilometer M1 route is to be serviced by a total of 15 hybrid buses.
Eight more buses are expected to be rolled out by end-June or early July this year, while an additional five buses are seen running by end-August, he said.
Apostol said Green Frog is also planning to deploy two more hybrid bus routes in Makati within the next 12 months.
He said they are also working at securing the approvals operate hybrid buses in the neighboring cities of Mandaluyong and Pasay.