Jeepneys are a popular form of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II. Painted in bright colours, they have become an iconic symbol of the island country in Asia.
Always colorful and adorned with pious symbols, the Jeepneys don’t just dominate Manila, they also serve specific routes all over the country. In theory, Jeepney drivers have to stick to designated stops. But theory and reality don’t always agree, and a Jeepney therefore will often stop anywhere it’s being flagged down or wherever someone would like to disembark. If their Jeepneys are not filled to capacity, drivers tend to reduce their speeds to a minimum. After all, there might be someone nearby looking for a ride. But while Jeepneys often serve as rolling roadblocks, they are driven rather aggressively at other times.
The constant stopping doesn’t help traffic flow through Manila’s notoriously clogged roads, but it’s hard to blame the drivers. Maintaining a large population of passengers is crucial, as a ride is remarkably cheap, beginning at just 15 cents, with each extra kilometer (0.6 mile) adding another two cents. Hopping onto a Jeepney is much less expensive than taking a cab, the train, or even one of the many three-wheeled cycles that carry one to two passengers. The Jeepneys are so cheap and simple that politicians reliably balk at any proposal to change the system, especially since the vehicles are de facto cultural icons.
Jeepneys are built almost everywhere in the Philippines, but Sarao Motors is a manufacturer with an especially long tradition and a good reputation. That’s why it can ask for higher prices than the competition: A Sarao Jeepney bus in its longest form will set customers back 650,000 pesos, the equivalent of $13,800. It takes 60 to 90 working days to finish a Jeepney. They’re built from scratch, with a heavy boxed frame, front and rear leaf springs, and a stainless-steel body ready to be fitted with eye-catching embellishments.
Credit : Car and Driver
Picture Credit : Google