Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MASS Transit – Some of the most profound means of transportation here in the Philippines are a large number of Taxis, jeepneys, tri-cycle and tri-bicycles. The taxi’s give door to door service. Next in line are the Jeepneys. These are like unto mini buses with no windows just cut out and no back door just a foot railing and open door way. You get in and off through the back door and there are benches on both sides to sit on, usually with people standing hunched over in the aisle as well and some hanging on to the railing standing on the foot rail on the back. They travel a set route but the fares are a lot cheaper than the taxi’s.

Next in line are the Tri-cycles. These are scooter/motor bikes with a converted side car of sorts that they can haul either passengers or freight. It is nothing to see upwards of 8-10 people in one of these. Of course they don’t move very fast when heavily laden but none the less it is a means of transportation. People usually use these as a kind of door to door if they don’t have a long distance to go. Next down line is the motorcycle. The motorcycles are located generally at the drop off points of the Jeepneys and pick up people when they get to the end of the line on them and still need a lift home to their door front. Sometimes you will see a mom, several children with the dad all on a motorcycle as a means of family transportation as well. Lastly is the tri-bicycle. These are converted bicycles like the tri-cycles with a side car for passengers or freight. Very slow because it takes someone to pedal to make it go.

A lot of the brothers & sisters working at the temple will use the Jeepneys to come to the temple and go home with and then use either a tri-cycle or motorcycle to go the last leg of the way home. They usually don’t use the tri-cycle unless later on in the evening. Jeepneys of course make multiple stops along the way so they take a longer time to get there than a taxi, but one can take 3 jeepney rides and finish up with a tri-cycle ride cheaper than just to get in a taxi. A taxi ride is P40 (Paso’s) just to get in the taxi and (our usual taxi ride is bout P120), each Jeepney ride is P7. Taxi’s can haul a family of up to 8 people, not comfortably; usually we can get 4 of us in a taxi. A Jeepney on the other hand can haul 20-30 or more. There is a saying here of how many people can a Jeepney hold? and the answer is “there is always room for one more”.

How many people can get into a tri-cycle is reminisce of the 50’s of how many people can you get into a phone booth? As many as you can get in they will try to haul.
Just as a point of reference a Paso is approximately 2 ½ cents. In comparison Taxi’s are a fairly expensive mode of transportation, our usual ride is about $2.50 or P120. We pay our cleaning lady P300 (or about $7) a day for cleaning our apartment one day a week (which is better than most men make per day) to come and clean and she does an excellent job of it and she makes very good wages. She has to take 3 jeepney rides (or about $.85 cents) both ways to get here and go home. It would cost about P120 to get here and the same to return if she took the taxi. So you can see she would be spending close to 15% of her earned income just to come via jeepney, clean and go home or 73% if she came by taxi. Of course it is fairly unlady like to climb aboard and get off a jeepney but none the less the ladies do it fairly gracefully in dresses and mini-skirts.

Now here is an interesting mode of transportation, the Pedi-Cab. Bycicles with a side care for passengers. I have see upwards of 3 people plus the peddler on a peddie cab. This mode of transportation is even cheaper than the Tri-cycles. And if you will notice his thighs are not as big as trees. Scrawney little dude isn’t he. Below are some other snaps of the same modes of transportation for your review and pleasure.

Top pic: Pedi-Cabs, Tri-Cycles, Elder Asher in black shirt and shorts, checking out the new Cycles. These hold 12 – 5 gal water bottles each for delivery.

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