Eton Centris, a township project of Eton Properties Philippines Inc. (EPPI), recently said that it will be the first Command Center Hub for The City Optimized Managed Electric Transport (The Comet), a zero-percent emissions city shuttle system, which is targeting to replace regular jeepneys and is expected to help in improving public transport in Metro Manila.
“Eton is a responsible partner of the environment,” said Danilo Antonio, chief operating officer of EPPI.
“Owning a sustainable business is something that everyone aspires for, and so, we support this endeavor because we appreciate the structure of the business, and that it will ultimately protect the three verticals that Eton cares about: the people; the business of the people; and the environment,” he added.
In partnership with Global Electric Transportation (GET), which is the distributor of The Comet, and Gawad Kalinga (GK), thru Pasang Masda Nationwide Inc., the Philippines will be the test country for The Comet system.
The Comet vehicles will be manufactured by Pangaea Motors, an American group of experts in electric vehicle technology. They will be setting up a plant for local assembly of the electric vehicles in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
Running on advanced battery technology (lithium ion cobalt batteries), the vehicles will run at a controlled speed of 60 kilometers per hour and will have a range of up to 100 kilometers on a five-hour full charge.
Pasang Masda, the oldest association of public utility jeepneys and operators in Metro Manila, has committed to purchase 10,000 units of The Comet vehicles, and its member-drivers have undergone the required training, which is handled by Gawad Kalinga.
According to Freddie Tinga, president of GET Ltd., “There are 55,000 jeepneys on the roads of Metro Manila, and it is found that 85 percent of pollution in the Metro is caused by poorly maintained vehicles like the jeep. Apart from that, there is this competition among the drivers for passengers which leads to unnecessary traffic and road accidents.”
He added that, “With The Comet in place, we are proposing a crowd funding approach, where all drivers and operators will earn from the pool. This will minimize competition and will encourage the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ among the stakeholders,” he added.
Pasang Masda is expecting a total of 20,000 units on the road by 2020.