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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Electric vehicle models at the 5th Electric Vehicle Summit – Part 2

I already featured a lot of the electric vehicle models that were on display at the 5th EV Summit and this second part adds to those in the Part 1. There are some new models in the following photos including a mini-bus model that features a lot of doors and a similarly-designed jitney model. I took photos of the interiors as well to give the reader an idea of the layout of these models and perhaps imagine how they could fit as potential public utility vehicles.

IMG_1333Electric minibus model

IMG_1334Interior of the minibus showing rows of seats

IMG_1335Driver and front seats

IMG_1336Rear seats facing the back instead of the front – the large window gives passengers a nice clear view of following vehicles, among others.

IMG_1337The minibus had many doors (8 total) to allow passengers to board and alight from each row.

IMG_1338Front of the mini-bus featuring a single large wiper

IMG_1339Jeepney-sized version of the minibus also featured multiple side doors (6 of them for this vehicle).

IMG_1340Seats inside the jitney

IMG_1341Dashboard and steering wheel of the electric jitney

IMG_1342Another look at the latest model of the electric jeepney

IMG_1343The door is at the curbside

IMG_1344Driver’s seat

IMG_1345Bench seat layout for the e-jeepney

IMG_1346Front view of the e-jeepney featuring a pronounced and familiar snout

IMG_1347Setting up for display and demo

IMG_1348Star8’s e-trike model featuring a side door instead of one at the rear

IMG_1349Bench seat layout for Star8’s e-trike

IMG_1350Dashboard and driver seat for the Star8 e-trike

IMG_1351Star8’s tuktuk design for the e-trike

The variety of electric vehicle models and the increase in the number of industry players is encouraging. Interest in electric vehicles have steadily increased over the past half decade. Perhaps the government should have a stronger role as catalyst or enabler for this industry to flourish and perhaps transform not only the public transport scene but also for people to adopt e-vehicles for private use. This can only be done if the proper incentives are in place that include policy, fiscal and financial instruments favoring electric vehicles as well as their hybrid relatives. These will go a long way towards a low carbon transport future for the country.

On a proposal to redesign bus stops and signs in Metro Manila

Here’s another quick post but it is something that should be picked up by government agencies particularly the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The following link is from Sakay.ph, which conducted a study on their own and came up with this:

A Redesign of Bus Stops and Signage in Metro Manila

The idea is not at all a new one considering you will see such appropriate stop designs and signs abroad. These are good designs that make a lot of sense (See the visuals in the article for you to be convinced). Only, the MMDA and other agencies including local government units are notoriously stubborn when it comes to innovative ideas that challenge the templates that they are used to. Perhaps the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) can also take a look at these ideas considering public transport is regulated by LTFRB and the agency can take a progressive stance in ruling for more uniform bus body designs. Meanwhile, the DPWH is in-charge of most road signs along national roads like EDSA and should also be proactive in the design of signage while also keeping in mind the international standards that we need to conform with. As for the buses themselves, the recommendations underline the need to streamline (read: reduce) the number of buses and players and the rationalization (read: simplify) routes in Metro Manila. Maybe they can start doing the livery for the P2P buses to show how the concept works?

Electric vehicle models at the 5th Electric Vehicle Summit – Part 1

The 5th Electric Vehicle Summit was held last April 14-15, 2016 at the Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall. Following are photos I took at the summit where many current electric vehicle models were on display and demonstration. Many of the photos show variants of the electric tricycle designs from various manufacturers that conform with the design promoted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). These are basically in the form of the Thai tuktuk and similar to Cagayan De Oro’s motorella.

IMG_1310Go Electric e-trike by ToJo Motors

IMG_1311E-trike model by Clean Air Transport Solutions, Inc.

IMG_1314BEMAC e-trike model – the company recently landed a big contract to produce e-trikes.

IMG_1315E-trike by Kyto Green Technologies Co., Ltd.

IMG_1316Electric car (4-wheeler) by PhUV powered by Trojan batteries

IMG_1317E-trike model by Green Mobility Service

IMG_1318PhUV’s e-trike variants

IMG_1319E-trike and charging station by KEA

IMG_1320Exhibitors setting up their booths and electric vehicles

IMG_1321Conventional vehicle converted into electric by Le Guider International

IMG_1322E-trikes by Guider Power

IMG_1323Another look at PhUV’s e-trikes 

IMG_1324Electric motorcycles by Alternative Energy Trailblazer, Inc.

IMG_1325E-trike by Roteco

IMG_1326SunE-trike and Roteco booths at the summit exhibition area

IMG_1328Sporty electric motorcycle model by Talino EV – this can be paired with a sidecar to serve as an e-trike.

IMG_1329The ToJo Motors booth

IMG_1330Electric vehicles powered by solar energy by Star8

IMG_1331E-vehicle models by Clean Air Transport Solutions, Inc.

IMG_1332Latest model e-jeepney by PhUV featuring side door and a higher ceiling

To be continued…

Introducing the New Director of the National Center for Transportation Studies

The National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS) of the University of the Philippines Diliman has a new Director. Dr Ma. Sheilah G. Napalang of the School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) succeeds Dr Hilario Sean O. Palmiano of the College of Engineering. Dr Napalang becomes the 5th Director of the NCTS since the latter’s transformation from the Transport Training Center (TTC) in the early 1990s, not counting the two OICs over that period.

NCTS turnover 2016Dr. Napalang receives the symbolic key from Dr Palmiano

Dr Napalang was a former top senior technical staff of the NCTS before she joined the faculty of SURP after a short stint at the Asian Institute of Tourism (AIT) of the same university. Prior to joining UP, she was a faculty member and former Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering of Xavier University in Cagayan De Oro City in Mindanao. Dr Napalang obtained her B.S. Civil Engineering degree at Xavier University, her master’s at Virginia Tech in the US, and her doctorate at Tokyo Tech in Japan. She has done work on sustainable transport and the viability of transport systems. She has also contributed to the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and the formulation of the National Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Strategy. Her most recent publications are:

  • Challenges of Urban Transport Development in Metro Manila: A look back at the last 40 years (lead author)
  • State of Pavement Engineering in the Philippines and Implications on the Economic Life of National Roads (lead author)

These papers were presented at the recent 11th International Conference of the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS) held in Cebu City last September 2015.

Congratulations to Dr. Napalang for her new appointment, and thank you to Dr. Palmiano for his contributions as NCTS Director!

Are Filipinos willing to pay for good public transportation?

There is a nice article that appeared last April 1, 2016. I hope it is not an April Fool’s type of an article.

Why is the U.S. unwilling to pay for good public transportation?

Reading the article reminded me of a lot of similar concerns surrounding public transport projects currently being constructed and those in the proposal and pipeline stages in Philippine cities. It seems though that there are still many people who have little appreciation of the benefits of modern public transport systems. Aside from Metro Manila and perhaps Cebu City, there is little clamor for modern mass transit systems. People tend to take commuting for granted with modes that they have grown up with like buses, jeepneys and tricycles until they start to experience first-hand the pains of traveling using inferior transport on severely congested roads. But even then, most seem to take it in stride and carry on, carrying their crosses in a state of purgatory that seems to have no end in sight.

NAIA Terminal 3 international departure wing

My recent trip to Singapore allowed me to take a few photos of the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. This is the same terminal that had a blackout recently that drew a lot of flak from a lot of people, and for which the airport manager was supposed to have attributed to bad luck (malas). I don’t agree as many of the problems of the NAIA terminals are the outcomes of poor management that, in other airports in other countries, would result in the manager’s firing.

IMG_1056Directional signs and spaces reserved for future shops greet the traveler as he/she enters the area after the final security check.

IMG_1057A view of the international departure wing’s expanse with an electric cart for passengers requiring transport assistance

IMG_1058There are now more duty free shops at this wing unlike a few years ago when I was traveling frequently between Manila and Singapore.

IMG_1059Passengers walking past the shops

IMG_1060There are more choices now for duty free shopping and those returning to Manila may want to take advantage of the ‘travel light’ promo of Duty Free Philippines, which gives returning passengers 5% discount on their purchases. Items will be collected upon their return to Manila.

IMG_1061Seats for one of the gates at NAIA T3’s international departure wing

IMG_1062There are still TVs there and all of them were showing replays of NBA games

Candidates for national positions in the Philippines using public transportation

There was a clamour for public officials to take public transportation in order for them to experience what commuters regularly go through when taking public transport. This was especially the challenge to officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) after what seemed to be an endless sequence of breakdowns involving trains in Metro Manila. While some officials and politicians were quick to respond, most if not all were only for photo opportunities (masabi lang na nag-MRT or nag-jeepney or nag-bus). The DOTC Secretary himself also rode the train but with many alalays and was apparently given special treatment judging by the conditions when he rode the train. I remember one senator who was presidential-candidate-to-be at the time fall in line (a very long line at that) at an MRT3 station in Quezon City to experience it herself and declared it was so the experience could help her frame legislation to improve public transport in the country. That was rare and apparently never repeated by the politician despite the praises she received for her doing so without any bodyguards or alalays (assistants).

Some people have been saying that one Vice Presidential candidate is so desperate that she’s taking public transport and having herself photographed doing so. I happen to know for a fact that the said VP hopeful takes public transportation regularly and even from the time when she was not yet congressman. She almost always takes the bus between her hometown in Bicol and Metro Manila. That is not a desperate act but a natural thing for her that few if any of our national officials, elected or appointed, can claim they also practice. This is the VP-candidate in her natural self with no pretensions and no sense of self-entitlement (compared with others who ride their chauffeured vehicles complete with escort vehicles). We need more people like her if we are to address transport and traffic issues cities and the entire country is now facing. These problems hinder development and is something experienced by most people including those who can afford to have their own vehicles for their commutes. We need leaders with first-hand knowledge and experience of how it is to be someone who takes public transport regularly.