MAKATI CITY, Philippines – Veterans of the daily commute to and from work know that air pollution and traffic are part of the whole routine. But one bus company hopes to change that by offering something never before seen on Philippine roads: a world-class city bus that runs on hybrid technology.
Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport (GFZET), established in 2010, will soon roll out the country’s first hybrid diesel-electric buses in Makati City. The initial route will run the entire stretch from Kalayaan Ave down to Sen Gil Puyat Ave (formerly Buendia Ave). The company plans to open up 3 more routes in the future.
According to GFZET managing director Philip Apostol, Green Frog buses are Euro-4 compliant and emit 80% less than a typical diesel bus would on the road. “Five of my buses would emit the same pollution as one normal bus,” he told Rappler. At the moment, the government only requires bus operators to follow the lower Euro-2 standard for emissions.
Many of these typical buses are imported second-hand and refurbished. And because the bus simultaneously uses its diesel and electric engines, it can go farther on the same amount of fuel. “If a typical bus will travel 1 kilometer, for the same amount of fuel, my bus will travel 2 or 2.5 kilometers,” Apostol said.
Green Frog buses are ahead of their time in many other aspects. They are modeled after buses that ply highly urbanized cities like Singapore and New York, with lowered floors to ease entry and exit. They also have 6 security cameras, a tap card system for cashless payments, fire extinguishers and a GPS tracker.
CASHLESS PAYMENT. Green Frog buses will utilize a tap card cashless payment system. A one way fare costs P12 and stored cards will be sold for P120. Photo courtesy of Green Frog’s Facebook page
The drivers of the buses, who just happen to be all women, will be paid a fixed salary and will pick up and drop off passengers only at designated bus stops. The GPS tracker will also help monitor speed to ensure drivers don’t over speed or clump together.