CEBU CITY – More than 100 units of electric buses will soon ply the streets here, and the other cities in the Philippines like Dumaguete that would revolutionize the public transport system in the country.
Referred to as “green transportation, electric buses have a lower impact on the environment than traditional vehicles powered by fossil fuels.
“Overall, green transportation is an important part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable mobility. It’s high time for Cebu to have them,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, director and president of Global Electric Transport (GET) Green Transport Cebu Inc.
Joseph said that by choosing environment-friendly modes of transportation, people can make a positive impact on the environment and their health. “We are looking at electric vehicles, good reliable transport system that are clean and environmentally friendly and we at GET Green Cebu are offering the alternative,” Joseph added.
He revealed that to date, there are only about 80 units of these green buses operating in the country—in Valenzuela, Metro Manila, Batangas, Baguio, Davao City, Cebu City, Boracay and in Dumaguete City.
“We started the GET Green Transport Cebu in April 2022 as a franchise holder of GET Philippines here, and since then, more cities in the Visayas are interested to go green transport as shuttle buses for companies and local government units,” Joseph said.
He said the cities of Cebu, Lapulapu, Mandaue and Danao are bullish in buying more than 100 units of these buses, and several universities and private companies are also interested to have these buses.
Joseph said the transportation industry in the Philippines has been steadily growing in recent years, driven by increasing urbanization, population growth, and rising demand for efficient and reliable transportation services.
The government has also been investing in infrastructure projects, such as expanding the road networks and improving public transportation systems, which could benefit private transportation operators like Get Green Transport, Inc.
Green transportation are City-Optimized, Managed Electric Transport (COMET) mini buses developed by American firm Pangea Motors, and manufactured and distributed by GET, and are often characterized as an electric jeepney (e-jeep) in the Philippines.
GET Philippines describes COMET buses as fully electric motor that boasts of Formula-E technology and performance adapted for public transportation. One COMET bus cuts harmful carbon dioxide emissions by around 40,000 kilograms annually. These eco-friendly electric shuttle service can seat 20 passengers, plus 10 more standing commuters, and can travel over 100 kilometers on a full battery, and only needs about half an hour to fully recharge.
COMET buses have built-in ramps that drop on the road to provide easier access for persons with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
“The goal of green transportation is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and promote sustainable mobility. We know that climate change is real and also public transport systems in the country are awfully sub-standard. We are looking at real jeepney system that is safe and environmentally clean,” Joseph said.
He added that by choosing environment-friendly modes of transportation here in Cebu and hopefully, the entire Philippines, individuals can make a positive impact on the environment and on their health.
“Investments run to about P40 million, and the return of investment now is bout 15-20 percent, but it’s building and ROI can easily be achieved in three years. We started this as a social enterprise in support of the government’s SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] on climate change and sustainable cities for a safe and clean environment, and digitizing transport not only in Cebu but the entire country,” Joseph said.
He said GET Green Transport believes that the COMET buses are here to replace traditional jeepneys in the country, and move forward to green transportation, one of the most popular of which is the electric vehicle (EV).
EVs have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they emit no tailpipe pollutants, and generate less carbon dioxide than traditional vehicles. EVs can be charged using renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, making them even more environmentally friendly, Joseph said. (Minerva Newman)