In the 1st Philippine Auto Parts Expo (PhilAPEX) in 2017 it was one of the main topics to show new ideas for the public transport in the Philippines. With the background of new regulations like the Jeepney Modernization Program, new ideas are needed to preserve the mobility of the increasing population in the Philippines while keeping the Jeepney as a part of our filipino idenity.
Sta. Rosa Motor Works, Inc., which is actually a philippine bus manufacturer and does not consider itself a Jeepney manufacturer, came up with a great prototype of what the Jeepney of the near future could look like and we believe it is a direction we can follow.
Being a bus manufacturer, Sta. Rosa Motor Works obviously got a bit stuck to the bus type vehicle design and the proportions of this Jeepney prototype are a bit off. However, the “SR Jeep Class II”, as they call it, has some really interesting features that we sure would like to see in every new Jeepney.
What is definitely appreciated it the higher room inside which makes it even possible to stand – at least if you are not taller than 177 cm (5.8 Feet). We also see a cool LED board on the front sun shield to indicate the destination. I think everbody will agree that this makes life much easier when searching for he right Jeepney at night time. Talking about making things easier: This Jeepney has a door on the side so passengers can conveniently walk in right from the sidewalk. This side door looks so nice that we wonder why it haven’t always been this way. If you worry that this way you can not load large and long objects anymore – the rear of the jeepney is still open, but it is secured with a door! There are also quite a few safety add-ons like a third brake light.
The Jeepney has enough space for 22 passengers sitting plus some room for standing passengers which sure is useful during rush hours. One thing we have to give up though: There is no space for passengers holding onto the rear and there is no way to load things onto the roof.
This Jeepney prototype from Sta. Rosa Motor Works, which is offered for about 1.5 million Philippine Pesos, has some very interesting new approaches and although the makers did not have much passion for the typical decorations and sticker designs, we believe this “SR Jeep Class II” is heading into the right direction. We would love to see the established Jeepney makers to copy some of the bus manufacturers ideas and create their own modernized Jeepney models soon. (Yes, ARMAK Motors, I have big hope in you!)