The jeepney is a national symbol of transportation and embodies the resilience, creativity, and hospitality of Filipinos. It provides a service within the masses’ reach, and is one of the preferred ways to commute in the country. The jeepney may be a cultural icon, yet the service it provides must keep up with the times.
In 2017, the government launched the PUV Modernization Program – a project that calls for the phasing-out jeepneys, buses and other Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) that are at least 15 years old. It calls for their replacement with safer, more comfortable and more environmentally-friendly workhorses. By switching to more modern vehicles, public utility vehicles and services can comply with the national standards and international vehicle safety conventions.
As one of the leading commercial vehicle brands in the Philippines, Foton Motor Philippines, Inc. (FMPI) designed a vehicle entry for the PUV modernization program.
“In support of the major development plan of the government, Foton Philippines also aims to build a rationalized, modern, well-managed and environment-friendly transport system where drivers and operators will experience stable, adequate and dignified livelihoods through the all-new Foton Jeepney,” said Foton Philippines President, Rommel Sytin.
The Foton Jeepney, also known as F-Jeep, was derived from the brand’s best-selling light duty truck, the Tornado 2.4C, with the rear body designed by Centro Manufacturing Corp. — one of the country’s leading regional providers of quality truck bodies and truck-related equipment and services. It carries an ISF 2.8S41 17V CRDI four-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled, and turbocharged Cummins diesel engine that is paired to a five-speed manual transmission. The vehicle generates 116 hp at 3,200 rpm, and torque of 260 N-m at 1,300 – 3,200 rpm, belonging to Foton’s line-up of Blue Energy Euro 4 compliant vehicles designed for cleaner and more powerful mobility.
“Foton Philippines understands the importance of being able to move a large number of people reliably, safely as well as with care for the environment. And from this, we see the role of the F-Jeep as a workhorse and multi-functional partner for the growing number of PUV operators in the country.” added Sytin.
Compared to the average jeepney, the F-Jeep is equipped with stainless fixed bench-type seats that can hold a capacity up to 24 passengers (16 seating and eight standing). With a length of 5650 mm, 1828 mm width, and 2615 mm height, the F-Jeep is more spacious, providing maximized room for cargo and legroom. It has comparatively wider passenger doors, making ingress and egress a whole lot easier.
Aside from the essentials, the F-jeep is also equipped with an air conditioning unit, GPS navigation system, a CCTV camera, dashboard camera, Wi-Fi connection, and entertainment system to keep the passengers in comfort and connected while on the road. These may just be the icing on the cake, but they can make a world of difference in improving the quality of commuting for passengers. The F-Jeep also limits the commuters from the hassle brought by the “pakiabot-po” payment scheme as it boasts of a tap card-based fare collection system. Meaning, no more passing change from one passenger to the other. All you’ll need is a loaded card and you’re good to go.
“It’s time to take a step forward with our entries for the PUV modernization,” said Sytin. “The launch of the Foton Jeepney will not just provide a comfortable riding experience for the commuters. We also aim to promote the capabilities of the national icon of Philippine transportation.”
By the Manila Bulletin Drive team