DOTr, Toyota unveil cheaper modern PUV prototype
MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Transportation and Toyota Motor Philippines Inc. on Sunday unveiled an affordable alternative modern public utility vehicle.
The modern PUV prototype Toyota Hilux Class 1 Modern PUV costs P988,000, cheaper by more than P200,000 than other modern PUV prototypes.
“It is this affordability which makes the Toyota Hilux Class 1 modern PUV an attractive alternative to transport operators, as it directly address the concerns and observations raised by some stakeholders that it is expensive to undertake modernization,” the DOTr said in a release.
“Modernization is not expensive, provided you make the right choice. There is always a cheaper alternative,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade also said.
The prototype has not been greeted with much enthusiasm on social media.
The Class 1 Modern PUV unit prototype maintained the required features of modern public transport vehicle including dashcams, CCTVs, wi-fi, automatic fare collection system.
It can carry a maximum of 12 passengers and is PWD-friendly, fully-airconditioned and Euro-4 compliant. It also has enough legroom for the driver.
The unit is also compliant with the Omnibus Franchise Guidelines and Philippine National Standards (PNS) requirements.
PNS set the minimum step heights, door widths, seat heights and widths, and ceiling heights, aisle and gangway width to ensure commuters’ convenience.
According to the DOTr, the Toyota Hilux prototype can be considered an ideal PUV type to service inner city, municipality or barangay/secondary routes, which are currently being served by ten-seater multicabs as it has smaller dimensions.
Three classes of modern PUVs
The DOTr added that there are three classes of PUVs: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 with specifications as follow:
- Class 1 – Nine to 12-seater PUVs, good for narrow barangay, municipal or provincial roads. Its size and price range makes it a better alternative in areas with lower transport demand.
- Class 2 – Has maximum of 23 seating capacity; The current ones we are seeing as jeepney replacements. Class 2 vehicles have the regular jeepney seating, but with ceiling height that will let average Filipinos stand in the middle.
“Class 2 are like your city people movers. Quick to board, quick to exit,” the transport agency said.
- Class 3 – Front facing variants with a maximum seating capacity of 23; These units are the required replacement for all UV Express vehicles.
“Good for point-to-point routes because of its more relaxed seating arrangement. Even though its layout is front facing, the vehicles are required to maintain an aisle in the middle and its width is also being measured,” the DOTr said.
The launch of the Hilux modern PUV marked Toyota’s entry into the PUV modernization program.
During the Roads and Traffic Expo last month, local and foreign manufacturers also launched their Class 1 PUV prototypes that they seek to release as a replacement to traditional jeepneys.
More modern e-jeeps to roll out
Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said he wanted to fast track the roll out of Class 1 PUV option for transport operations to hasten the implementation of the modernization program.
Tugade and the officials of the Land Transportation Franchise and Regulatory Board last Friday led the launching of 15 modern e-jeepneys in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The DOTr is also set to roll-out 23 modern jeepney units with Malinta-Novaliches routes, under the Novaliches-Malinta Jeepney Transport Sevice Cooperative soon.
The government is planning to phase out traditional jeepneys aged 15 years and above by July 2020.