Almazora Motors Corporation (AMC) a leading bus body manufacturer and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines collaborate for a viable alternative for the popular public utility vehicle the jeepney. The “BEEP” (Bus-jeep), is a micro sized bus which is suitable for crowded cities such as Metro Manila. It was designed for the primary purpose of modernizing Metro Manila’s public transport.
Inspired by European Gruau Microbus which exemplifies safety, convenience and modernism, the BEEP is designed for use as city passenger service. It has a seating capacity of 26 passengers (seating for 18 including driver and standing for 8). The BEEP body is locally designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors, while the chassis is supplied by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines using brand new FUSO Canter light duty truck which complies fully with Philippine emission and safety regulations.
The BEEP responds as a feasible option to alleviate pollution and also the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila with its appropriate size and compliance to emission standards. Even our government recognizes that the jeepney is a problem that has defied solution. The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) has reported that jeepneys contribute 50% of the pollution in Manila. Also the traffic flow in Metro Manila is worsened by oversized jeepneys with excessive turning radius that usually clog the U-turn slots. Currently the jeepney population as reported by the DOTC is around 400,000 units, 70,000 of which are in Metro Manila.
Accordingly, the general commuting public’s comfort and safety were considered in developing the BEEP. It has high roof and low flooring which makes the interior roomier and accommodate standing passengers easily. Other key features of the BEEP are as follows:
- The BEEP rides on the Fuso Canter 4-wheeler truck chassis. The engine complies with the current Euro emission standard.
- Ergonomically-placed steering wheel, shift knob and center instrument panel controls
- Spacious interior and large door openings that offers passengers ease and comfort.
- High roof and wrap around clear window styling makes the interior roomier and lessens the blind spots.
- Functional seating layout with bench type seats, vertical and horizontal grab handles
- Ceiling mounted air conditioner vents for relaxing ride.
The BEEP is also targeted to the new commuting passengers whom are expected to shift from private to public transportation as fuel costs are expected to become higher in the future. These new group of commuters are anticipated to require public transport that are better than current buses and jeepneys and are willing to pay higher fares for better service.
The initial price of BEEP is around Php 1.6 million. Though it is double the price of a brand new FX unit, the BEEP has double revenue potential since it has more seating capacity. Return of investment is expected to be faster because of higher revenue compared to jeepneys. In addition, since the BEEP utilizes entirely new truck chassis, vehicle financing is also possible thru the banks. Banks normally do not allow financing for even brand new jeepneys since it is backyard assembled and utilizes surplus components.
The BEEP will be available for sale by the end of November. “MMPC aims to fulfill its role as an automotive industry mover in the Philippine economy and society through the introduction of this BEEP” Mr. Masahiko Ueki, President and CEO of MMPC said. “The auto industry should not only care about selling brand new vehicles but also take a lead role in improving the mass transport system. And since no assembler has really pursued to modernize the public transportation, MMPC as a socially responsible automotive company have collaborated with Almazora to come up with a better solution for mass transportation.” Mr. Ueki added.