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Heeding Pasig City’s Call, Electric Buses To Shuttle Frontliners

By KYLIE TINGA

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The declaration of Luzon’s enhanced community quarantine has come with a mass ban on public transportation. This has left many citizens stranded, either in their own homes or in someone else’s due to the government-mandated curfew. Even frontliners, such as doctors, nurses, janitors, security guards, and government officials, are struggling to find ways to travel so they can do the essential work of tending to patients and coordinating relief efforts.

At Global Electric Transport (GET), we advocate for transport planning to be at the heart of urban planning and development.

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Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and the Pasig Transport Department were quick to recognize the issue the ban posed and formulated what we saw as an appropriate crisis management response. Pasig City rolled out emergency transport initiatives for essential personnel and those within Pasig’s borders. This includes providing free bus and shuttle services from major pickup points to the city’s hospitals, as well as repurposing bicycles from its Bicycle Share Program.

The city government was vocal on social media and offline, encouraging people to help however way they could. We at GET will be working in conjunction with Pasig City Hall to provide our COMET electric minibus service free of charge for the Pasig Public Market to Shaw Boulevard route, aiding frontliners reach hospitals such as Rizal Medical Center.

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Solidarity is not an act of charity, but a mutual help between forces that fight for the same goal. -Samora Machel. ‎ ‏‏‎ The COMET will be assisting Pasig City in ferrying front liners to the hospitals and city hall and other key areas in Manila (Philippines).🤝🏻 ‎ ‏‏‎ There are no rides available. People riding the comet would have had to pay $1.50 to $2.00 a ride on a tricycle (they are allowing only one passenger). Remember this is in a county where the minimum daily wage is $10.00 ‎ ‏‏‎ From @qevtech we feel proud about this, it’s amazing see how our technology crosses borders and contributes acts like these. But we do not forget that the real heroes are the @cometride drivers and service team who are doing this possible and are giving this magnific service without rest. ‎ ‏‏‎ For all of each of you, today all our team from Barcelona is with you. We’re all in this toGETher! 💪🏻 ‎ ‏‏‎ ‎ ‏‏‎ ‎ ‏‏‎ #covid19 #stopcoronavirus #goelectrictoday #qevtechnologies #emobility #race2road #ebus #ekit

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Chief Transport Planner and Head of Pasig Transport Department Anton Siy said that others have also heeded the call allowing Pasig City to cobble together an emergency transport system for its frontliners. We are thankful that during a crisis such as the one we are experiencing, there is no competition, only collaboration and we are thankful that other private entities were looking to provide whatever service they could.

While this collaboration between local government and the private sector has been greeted with much rejoicing online, we see the need for the commendable to become commonplace. The current backbone of this country are those who risk their health to keep grocery stores open, banks running, food delivered, patients healthy, and citizens satisfied.

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Banning public transportation means not only restricting travel to those who can afford to own cars, it means severely limiting the ability of those operating essential services to do their jobs. Pasig City serves as an example of how local government units (LGUs) and the private sector can step up and work together to help ensure that the public transport ban will not compromise the very jobs that are holding the nation together.

Kylie Tinga is a Sustainable Transport Specialist at Global Electric Transport.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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