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June 12, 2017

Meet the Man Who's Going to Help Modernize the Jeepney

Mark Victor Bautista was a fresh graduate from the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts, Industrial Design Department when he submitted a much-celebrated entry in the 1986 Industrial Design Exhibition of the Design Center of the Philippines. What Bautista presented was a new way of how public utility companies can increase their passenger capacity without buying additional vehicles.

The proposed solution was to change the interior arrangement and seating configuration to increase the capacity of standard elevated buses from an average capacity of 80 passengers (60 seated and 20 standing) to a total of 130 passengers. This can be done by allocating a few rows of benches for the aged, the disabled and the pregnant women while the rest of the bus will have rows of padded back supports and handrails to allow passengers to stand and lean on the pads. It is ideal for short distance routes.

The design was submitted to then MMDA Chair Oscar Orbos but may have been way ahead of its time. But it might now be providential that more than 30 years later, another Orbos is at the helm of the MMDA. Oscar’s younger brother, the energetic Tim Orbos is now the MMDA general manager. Bautista’s design might just see the light of day.

Bautista has a number of automotive design conquests under his belt. He trained under German bus designing expert Armin Wydower when they did the Double Deck Mobile Home of an industrialist. Since then, he has designed many passenger van bodies for the car makers, one of which is the Mitsubishi L300 XV which he co-designed with leading truck body builder Centro Manufacturing Corporation.

Bautista also designed the double-decker jeepney known as the Skyjeepney which is a very sought-after vehicle for lease by tour operators.

“I made two double-decker Skyjeepneys because I felt that it is a very good solution to our traffic problems. It carries double the capacity for same footprint as a regular jeepney. Now, I am just waiting for a final certification from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to be able to deploy the Skyjeepneys as a tour operation by itself,” he said.

Bautista is now also busy creating a new concept bus for the Mind Museum.

Bautista’s advocacy is public transport although his main business is the design and supply of grocery take-out counters with conveyor belt. He supplies these to most of the top supermarkets in the country.

Nowadays, he is working again with Centro to design an aesthetically-appealing new public utility vehicle to be presented to the DOTr.

“I will be working using the new dimensional standards now being established by the Bureau of Philippine Standards. I have a modern design concept that will still retain the design concept and the spirit of our iconic Philippine jeepneys. It will be a tough balancing act of what is modern and what is classic,” he said.

The new design is surely one that will be worth waiting for. And with the DOTr’s thrust on the PUV Modernization Program now more determined than ever, maybe Bautista’s design concepts for the modern PUV jeepney may have come of age.

1 comment:

  1. I hope they can modernize the brains of the drivers too.


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