MARIKINA City (Metro Manila) will launch today, January 11, what is considered as the first public utility vehicle (PUV) in the country designed for persons with disability (PWD) and senior citizens.
Initiated and designed by Marikina City Vice Mayor Jose Fabian Cadiz, the Adaptive Mobile Vehicle (AMV) has been tested and is now ready to serve constituents with special needs.
The AMV is a taller and wider tricycle, with safety handlebars and rubberized ramp to ensure safety of passengers.
Its seat is foldable to make way for a wheelchair.
The AMV is painted yellow with safety signs, buzzer, hazard lights and loud horn for road safety.
It can hold up to one wheelchair and two individuals at the same time.
The wheelchair will be rolled into the sidecar through the ramp without the PWD leaving the chair.
It operates like an Uber taxi where PWDs and senior citizen passengers will be picked up and brought to any destination in Marikina.
An AMV hotline will be set up in the future, Cadiz said.
He added that the specialized tricycles will only operate within Marikina City for now and other local government units may adopt the idea of AMVs later.
The fare for an AMV ride is P7.20 for the first kilometer and additional 80 centavos for every succeeding kilometer equivalent to the 20-percent discount for PWD and senior citizens.
For now, only one AMV will operate, while some 20 modified versions are expected to come out this year.
“PWD and senior citizens are estimated to make up 10 percent of the population of the city. Twenty of these vehicles will be enough to service the whole PWD and senior citizen population of Marikina City,” Cadiz said.
Mayor Del de Guzman, who had instructed Cadiz to come up with the AMV, expressed confidence that other cities and municipalities will also provide the same accessibility to their PWD and elderly residents.
“It is important that we give accessibility to those with special needs. That is why this type of transportation is exactly what we need for our PWD and senior citizens. We hope that other LGUs [local government units]will soon adopt Marikina’s idea for their own AMVs for the sake of their PWD and elderly residents,” the mayor said.
NEIL A. ALCOBER