Walking to our meeting venue, I saw this small bus stopped at an intersection. I remembered a similar bus that we rode between the JR Shibuya Station and the Philippine Embassy in Nanpeidai (in the Shibuya District) in the late 1990s. The mini-bus is a form of paratransit that’s right there with the jitneys and van services that provide mainly short distance public transport services in, among others, city centers and residential areas.
The fare is fixed at 100 JPY and you can use your Suica or Pasmo card to pay your fare. Something like this could be suitable for CBDs in the Philippines including the Makati CBD, Ortigas CBD and maybe the future Quezon City CBD that is being developed in the north triangle area of that city. Other city centers where this mini-bus can be used are those in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod. Perhaps most desirable are low emission versions of this vehicle including, if available, electric buses. At present, Makati has electric jeepneys plying 3 routes along city roads in the Makati CBD. These will complement regular bus or rail services and should replace jeepneys along specific routes.