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January 1, 2018

DTI, Body Makers Settle on Standardized Modern PUV Dimensions

The Automotive Body Manufacturers Association of the Philippines or ABMAP has revealed certain design concepts of the proposed “Eco PUV”—the proposed replacement of the ageing jeepneys under the government’s PUV Modernization program.

The ABMAP together with the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), Philippine Parts Makers Association of the Philippines (PPMA), the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Philippine Standards sought to craft the proper dimensional standards for the new Eco PUV.

ABMAP President Vicente Mills explains that a BPS Technical Working Group (TWG) was set up to craft the optimal design and dimensional limits of the modern Eco PUV specifically for Philippine use and yet are in conformance to international standards.

The Eco PUV introduces new features such as a passenger door on the curb side, higher passenger capacity, higher ceiling to allow standing passengers, an automated fare collection system, more room for seated passengers both at the front and the sides, an emergency exit and entirely brand-new powertrain, body and parts, among others.

An airconditioning system is optional in all classes of PUV.

It’s interesting to note that the new standards do not cover the body design and performance of the Eco PUV.

The TWG identified four classes based on vehicle size, passenger seating and standing capacities, passenger volume of the route, distance of the route, and intended road use for the vehicles.

 Class 1 PUV is broken down into two: Class 1A for 9 to 12 passengers with perimeter seating and Class 1B for 13 to 22 passengers with both perimeter and front-facing seats. These are intended for low density, stop and go routes in the city. No standing passengers are allowed.

Class 2 PUV is for a total of 23 passengers or more (seated and standing) and is the only class where standing passengers are allowed. It will have perimeter seating and must conform to the body dimensional limits of: 7-m length x 2.35-m width x 1.75-m floor to ceiling height. It is for higher-density passenger volumes in a stop and go route in the city.

Class 3 PUV is similar to Class 2 PUV (23 passengers or more) except that it will have front facing seats and no standing passengers are allowed. It is intended for faster speed travel from one city to another and might have to transverse highways and expressways.

Class 4 PUV is similar to Class 3 PUV (23 passengers or more) except that there will be provisions for cargoes. It is intended for faster and longer travel like from one province to another and will definitely transverse highways or expressways.

The TWG focused first on Class 2 and 3 which constitute about 60 percent of PUVs needed for the more than 200,000 jeepneys that are more than fifteen years old that needed to be upgraded”, Mills said.

“Approved was BPS PNS 2126:2017 to cover their dimensional limits which was made the basis for the various Eco PUV prototypes exhibited during the recent Eco PUV Showcase of the BOI.”
These two classes in particular ply the major thoroughfares and the most routes in Metro Manila and other urban cities nearby and service the most number of passengers.

Mills says that the most apparent design adjustment of the Eco PUV is the increased floor to ceiling height in the passenger area. “This allows passengers to stand up in the middle much like how people stand up in the MRT or the buses. This increases the passenger capacity resulting in incremental income for the operator. This simple design adjustment gives the average PUV operator additional fare as it allows about eight people to stand up in the middle during rush hour.”

“This makes sense because commuters can spend the time standing up inside the vehicle already and not on the street side, exposed to the elements”, he adds. “And since some of the proposed Eco PUVs are airconditioned, the passengers will be more comfortable”.

“The entrance on the right side or curbside also solves the safety issue of passengers falling off the backside of the jeep while hanging on the hand rails or getting rammed from behind by an oncoming vehicle”.

ABMAP together with industry groups TMA, EVAP, and PPMA have committed to support the PUV Modernization Program of the Department of Transport and the Eco PUV Program of the Department of Trade and Industry and Bureau of Investments.

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