Market leader enters PUV business

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    Affordable. Built on the Hilux platform, Toyota’s Class 1 modern PUV is priced at P998,000.
    Affordable. Built on the Hilux platform, Toyota’s Class 1 modern PUV is priced at P998,000.

    The country’s leading assembler has joined the government public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP)

    Toyota Motor Philippines Inc. (TMP) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) unveiled on Sunday the Toyota Hilux as Class 1 modern PUV.

    It has smaller dimensions with 12 seating capacity, the ideal PUV type to service inner city, municipality or barangay/secondary routes.

    Arthur Tugade, DOTr secretary, said he intends to fast track the rollout of this Class 1 option for transport operators as this is affordably priced at less than a million pesos, at P998,000.

    While categorized as Class 1, the Toyota Hilux maintains the required features of the modern public transport vehicle, such as dash cams, CCTVs, Wi-Fi and Automatic Fare Collection System.

    It is fully air-conditioned, PWD-friendly and has ample legroom for the driver. It is also compliant with Euro 4, Omnibus Franchise Guidelines and Philippine National Standards requirements.

    Among the basic features of the PNS are setting the minimum step heights, door widths, seat heights and widths, and ceiling heights, aisle and gangway widths. The primary objective of having the PNS is to set a standard to ensure commuter convenience.

    “Modernization is not expensive, provided you make the right choice. There is always a cheaperalternative,” Tugade said.

    Other modern jeeps are priced over a million pesos.

    Under the program, there are three classes of PUVs: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3.

    Class 1 is a nine- to 12-seater PUV good for narrow barangay, municipal or provincial roads. Its size and price range make it a better alternative in areas with lower transport demand.

    Class 2 and 3 (maximum 23 passengers seating capacity) are the current ones launched as jeepney replacements. Class 2 has the regular jeepney seating but with ceiling height that will allow passengers to stand in the middle. Class 2 is the city people mover – quick to board, quick to exit.

    Class 3 is a front facing variant. These units are the required replacement for all UV express.

    They are good for point to point routes because of the more relaxed seating arrangement.

    Even with a front facing layout, the vehicles are required to maintain an aisle in the middle and the width is also being measured.