Foton showcases the all-new Jeepney for PUV Modernization Program
The ubiquitous jeepney has always been a national icon. Its highly decorated ornaments and artwork makes it a rolling piece of street art. From its huge mudflaps and mud guards with one-liner quotes to fancy hood ornaments, to its graffitti style artwork, it is a collage of our country’s pop culture and diversity. While it is a national symbol of transportation, built with resilience, creativity and hospitality, offering the cheapest way to get around the city and countryside, it is also considered a dinosaur. These aging, and in many cases, dilapidated jeepneys suffer from distorted subframes, smoky diesel engines, and oftentimes balding tires, are a traffic and health hazard.
In 2017, the government launched the PUV Modernization Program – a project that calls for the phasing-out jeepneys, buses and other Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) that are at least 15 years old, replacing them with safer, more comfortable and more environmentally-friendly commuter vehicles. This program enables all vehicles and services to comply with the national standards and international vehicle safety conventions. With this initiative, Foton Motor Philippines, Inc. (FMPI) signed up for the challenge in submitting a redesigned vehicle entry for the PUV modernization program.
“In support to the major development plan of the government, Foton Philippines also aims to build a rationalized, modern, well-managed and environment-friendly transport system where drivers and operators will experience stable, adequate and dignified livelihoods through the all-new Foton Jeepney,” announced Foton Philippines president Rommel Sytin.
The Foton Jeepney, also known as F-Jeep, uses the brand’s best-selling Tornado 2.4C light duty truck as its base platform, with the rear body designed by Centro Manufacturing Corp., the country’s leading builder of truck bodies. Powered by a Cummins ISF 2.8S41 17V CRDI engine, the in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission, it generates 116 hp at 3,200 rpm, and a torque of 260 N-m at 1,300 – 3,200 rpm. It is part of Foton’s family of Blue Energy Euro 4 compliant vehicles designed for cleaner and more powerful mobility.
“Foton Philippines understands the importance of being able to move a large number of people reliably, safely, as well as with care for the environment. And from this, we see the role of the F-Jeep as a workhorse and multi-functional partner for the growing number of PUV operators in the country,” added Sytin.
The F-Jeep is equipped with fixed bench type seats with a seating and standing capacity of 24 passengers—16 seating and 8 standing. The F-Jeep is also more spacious, providing maximized room for cargo and legroom. It has comparatively wider passenger doors, making ingress and egress a whole lot easier. “The scorching heat brought by climate change, the heavy traffic that makes you run out of time, the discomfort in riding on nearly dilapidated vehicles bring so much hassle to the commuters. We want to change that, and we want to provide the Filipinos, especially those who belong to the working class, to get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably, through the Foton Jeepney,” shared Sytin.
For today’s connectivity and comfort-conscious riding public, the F-jeep is also equipped with an air conditioning unit, GPS navigation system, a CCTV camera, dashboard camera, Wi-Fi connection, and entertainment system to keep the passengers in comfort and connected while on the road, in a clear effort to make a world of difference in improving the quality of commuting for passengers. The F-Jeep also limits the commuters from the hassle brought by the “pakiabot-po” payment scheme with a tap card-based fare collection system, to avoid the hassles of cash-based transactions.
“It’s time to make a step forward with our entries for the PUV modernization,” said Sytin. “The launch of the Foton Jeepney will not just provide a comfortable riding experience for the commuters. We also aim to promote the capabilities of the national icon of Philippine transportation,” he added.
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