In the last Electric Vehicle Summit held in late February this year, I noticed a conspicuous device installed in the electric jeepney unit that was on display at the venue. The device is for electronic payment of fares; using a card much like the ones being used in other countries like Singapore and Japan, and soon, hopefully, for the LRT and MRT in Metro Manila. Such a capability has a lot of potential including a very convenient way to pay fares for public transport in Metro Manila. Other potential uses would be for payments of items bought at stores or shops (or vending machines) like Japan’s Suica card. Users would just have to “top up” or load their cards for these to be used in their commutes or purchases.
The latest e-jeepney model features a side door instead of one at the rear.
Boarding passengers will encounter device upon entering the vehicle. The current technology available should soon enable passengers to use “tap” cards to pay for their fares.
Such a device will leas to a more efficient fare collection and eliminate the need for “conductors” or persons assisting the driver in taking passengers’ fares. These should also allow the driver to focus on driving rather than be distracted by fare collection including trying to keep track of who has paid and who has change due. This would likely translate into safer travel for most people.
Electronic boards at the top behind the driver can provide travel information such as the next stop or traffic conditions along the transit route. Such information can be derived from various sources including the MMDA or local governments as well as from crowd-sourcing.