So many questions remain unanswered regarding public utility jitney modernization program, chiefly, the cost that will eventually be passed to the riding public. With the high cost of the modern jitney more commonly called e-jeep, which is reportedly range from P1.6 million to P 2.4 million, the monthly payment is reportedly estimated to be as high a P 7,000.00 for the unit alone.

The cost for repair and maintenance to ensure that the unit is still serviceable during the payment period would be an additional burden of the operator. Add to it the amount that the driver and conductor would need to earn for a decent living of their family. There too is an added expenses that is given to the barker who calls for passengers at stopovers.
The transportation department had been pushing for the implementation of this transport modernization program and the eventual phaseout of the old jitney units on the road. It has tapped financing institutions to support the program by opening credit facility to transport operators who are willing to acquire the modern e-jeep.

The transportation department is encouraging operators and drivers to form into cooperatives to improve the system from the present individualistic competition among operators and drivers. The suggestion is aimed at ensuring that each operator and driver would be able to earn better than operating individually. The suggestion may sound good but there is no actual study if the cooperative way would result into viable income for both operators and drivers.

With old public utility vehicles still plying the routes that were assigned to e-jeeps, the competition is actually tough than one can imagine. It bears noting that there is no increase in the population of the riding public which is the main source of income for all public utility vehicles. That would mean greater number of public utility vehicles dividing the fix number of passengers.

The only practical way for operators and drivers to increase their income is to pass the cost of operations and maintenance to the riding public by increasing fare rates. If that is done, there would be more problem as the riding public would surely resist any fare increase.

Already, there are allegations that the procurement of e-jeeps is tainted with corruption as the units are priced too high than what local manufacturers are offering. Whatever are the reasons behind the push being made by the transportation department to rush the implementation of the transport modernization program, it will be the riding public that will eventually bear the cost of modernization.
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