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Manila E-Trike project launched

Aiming to combat air pollution and improve the livelihood of some 1,500 franchised tricycle drivers in Manila, the city government launched yesterday the electric tricycle (E-Trike) project with the turnover of 50 environment-friendly tricycles to the first batch of beneficiaries in Binondo.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he hopes the E-Trike project would help uplift the lives of the city’s “poorest of the poor”.

“This is primarily a livelihood program with the main objective of providing our poor tricycle and kuliglig drivers an ‘upgraded’ public transport vehicle which they can call their own, and from which they could earn more,” Estrada said.

The E-Trikes will be financed through “boundary-hulog” system, wherein the driver-owners will only pay the city government R250 a day for four years at zero interest, Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) chief Dennis Alcoreza said.

The cost of charging E-Trike’s battery, meanwhile, will be subsidized by the city government. The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has constructed charging stations, the first one was in Binondo.

The Japanese-manufactured E-Trikes run on gel-type batteries than can be fully charged for only 4 to 5 hours. It can carry up to six passengers and has a maximum speed of 40 to 45 kilometer per hour (kph).

The first batch of 50 beneficiaries were all residents of District 3, which has been chosen as the pilot site for the E-Trike project. District 3 covers the areas of Binondo, Quiapo, San Nicolas, and Sta. Cruz.

E-Trikes will also be introduced in Malate, Ermita, and University Belt, according to Alcoreza.

He also said that E-Trikes will have exclusive franchised routes so as not to compete with fuel-run tricycles.

The city government has bought 280 units of E-Trikes, at R400,000 each, for distribution this year.

Estrada said the city government will procure thousands more of these E-Trikes to gradually replace fuel-run tricycles in the coming years, thus, complementing the city government’s efforts to reduce air pollution.
(Jaimie Rose R. Aberia)