MANILA – The Aboitiz Group said Wednesday it would roll out electric buses to provide transport for essential workers in the city of Manila for free, and that the service would soon be available for public transport.
The company said its BEST (Business for Environmentally Sustainable Transformation) Bus units can accommodate 15 physically-distanced passengers from the original capacity of 30. The project is in partnership with electric vehicle firm GET Philippines, it said.
Aboitiz said the electric vehicle has air-conditioning, internet access, electric ramp and wheelchair slot for persons with disabilities, onboard video display and CCTVs.
BEST buses will run on fast-charging lithium-ion batteries which allow buses that have been charged for just 15 minutes to run for 80 to 100 kilometers, the firm said.
It will also use cashless fare collection and contact tracing for public safety, it said.
By June, 50 BEST Buses will be deployed in Manila in batches of 5 and 10 units for free to the public for the first 3 months.
Its advocate partner GET Philippines will assist in driver training and orientation. GET will also oversee daily operations and route management, Aboitiz said.
Manila City government, meanwhile will be in charge of the electricity, driver salaries and route planning.
A fleet of BEST Bus units is expected to serve some 150,000 commuters annually and will reduce about 40,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions, 30,000 liters of diesel and 65,000 kg of particulate matter per year, Aboitiz said.
Source: ABS-CBN News