Jeepneys are the most
popular means of public
transportation in the Philippines.
They were originally made from US military jeeps
from World War II
and are well known
for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have also
become a symbol of Philippine culture.
The word jeepney
is a portmanteau
When American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of
World War II, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to local
Filipinos. The Filipinos stripped down the jeeps to accommodate
several passengers, added metal roofs for shade, and decorated the
vehicles with vibrant colors and bright chrome hood
The jeepney rapidly emerged as a popular and creative way to
re-establish inexpensive public transportation, which had been
virtually destroyed during World War II. Recognizing the widespread
use of these vehicles, the Philippine government
place restrictions on their use. Drivers now must have specialized
, regular routes, and
reasonably fixed fares.
Although several types of jeepneys have been produced, the jeepneys
have only begun evolving recently, in response to environmental and
A jeepney ready for decoration
2nd Generation Jeepneys
Fully assembled from refurbished engines. Some also have
air-conditioning units, most popularly in Makati. Most of these
kinds of jeepneys have radically expanded passenger capacities, and
more often are flamboyant and noisy. Many of jeeps from this
generation are notorious for smoke belching, and almost all of them
run on diesel.
3rd Generation Jeepneys
Jeepneys that are manufactured using brand new engine components.
Many of these kinds of jeeps come with improved air-conditioning
and more closely resembles a mini-bus.
Electric jeepneys are being test-run in Makati. In response to
calls for reduced greenhouse gas
emissions and the rise of oil prices, a limited number of these
vehicles have been deployed. A final plan to implement electric
jeepneys is yet to be announced. Future jeepneys to be locally
built will belong in this category.
E-jeepneys, short for electrical Jeepneys, were the brainchild of
Green Renewable Independent Power Producers, Inc. or GRIPP in
partnership with Mr Robert Puckett, President of Solar Electric
Company in the Philippines. These E-jeepneys or minibuses
, under the support of Greenpeace
started plying Manila / Makati City
streets on July 1, 2008. 4 e-jeeps were launched by Makati mayor
Jejomar Binay on 2007, with 2
prototypes from Guangzhou, China at P 371,280 each.
"The first public
transport system of its kind in South-East Asia," the vehicles can
be charged by plugging into an electric socket, using power from
biodegradable waste. E-jeepneys would also soon begin commercial
operations in Puerto
Princesa, Bacolod and Baguio.
The 2 new
e-jeeps were made by the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers
Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP), while the first 4 units
were made in China.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board classified and
registered them as LSV (low-speed vehicles) or 4-wheeled motor
vehicles that use alternative fuel such as electricity and running
a maximum 40 km per hour. The E-jeepney carries 17 passengers and
can run 120 km on an 8-hour charge from an electric outlet.
Although the original jeepneys were simply refurbished military
), modern jeepneys are now produced by
independently owned workshops and factories within the Philippines.
central Philippine island of Cebu, the bulk of
jeepneys are built from second-hand Japanese trucks, originally
intended for hauling cargo rather than passengers.
euphemistically known as "surplus" trucks.
Recently the jeepney industry has faced threats to its survival in
its current form. Most of the larger builders have either gone
bankrupt or have switched to manufacturing other products.
Currently there are 2 classes of jeepney builders in the
Philippines. The backyard builders produce 1-5 vehicles a month,
source their die stamped pieces from one of the larger
manufacturers, and work with used engines and chassis from salvage
yards (usually the Isuzu
4BA1, 4BC2, 4BE1
series diesel engines or the Mitsubishi
4D30 diesel engines--a shift from the Isuzu C240 engine
that powered early jeepneys). The second type of manufacturer is
the large volume manufacturer. They have 2 sub groups: the PUJ
(Public Utility Jeep) and the large volume metal-stamping companies
that supply parts as well as complete vehicles.
jeepney builders in the past were mostly based in Cebu City and Las Piñas City; however, with the recent slowdown of sales, many
of the smaller builders have gone out of business.
largest manufacturer of owner-type jeeps in the Philippines is
David Motors Inc. in Quezon
City, located on the north side of Metro Manila.
The largest manufacturer of vintage style army jeepneys is MD
manufacturers/marks include Mega (which also produces the Lanceta
line of jeepneys, in Lipa), Malagueña
(whose factory in Cavite was the site
of one of the very first Yield Stops of The Amazing Race), LGS Motors, Morales,
Hebron, Jerusalem, Marinel (jeepney makers based in Rizal which is popular for their patok (popular)
jeepneys which are equipped with high-powered sound systems,
aggressive racing themes and lettering/fonts, and their speed--some
even achieving a "lowered"-style) and Sarao
Motors , and Armak (one of the largest). Another manufacturer
PBJ motors manufactured jeepneys in
Pampanga using techniques derived from Sarao Motors.
Armak nowadays sell remanufactured trucks and vehicles on the side
to survive, alongside its jeepneys.
Passenger jeepneys are also facing increasing restrictions and
regulations for pollution controls, as they increase amounts of
traffic and consume lots of fuel. A recent study published in a Metro Manila newspaper compared the fuel use of a 16-passenger
jeepney to a 54-passenger air-conditioned bus and found that the
fuel consumption for both was the same.
With major roads
clogged by empty jeepneys cruising for fares, there is intense
pressure to remove them from the streets of Metro Manila and other
The cost for a new jeepney will also rise due to the increased
costs of raw materials like steel and the need to use new engines
to power their vehicles. The supply of remanufactured used engines
is slowly dropping as wear and age take their toll and the number
of factories that rebuild engines diminishes.
The jeepney industry has evolved more quickly in the past 2 years
than it has in the past 50 years. Many local manufacturers are
moving to build more modern-looking jeepneys such as Hummer
lookalikes and oversized Toyota
van-style passenger jeepneys with Toyota
headlights, hoods and bumpers. Manufacturers in Nueva Ecija also started making jeepneys with fronts resembling
AUVs like the Honda CR-V
or the Toyota Tamaraw.
Already in production is a jeepney
the size of a small bus and is equipped with state-of-the-art
vehicle technology (brand-new engine and drivetrain) and
Thermo-King-brand airconditioning intended for buses. Local
automobile parts manufacturers are now planning the production of
In the Philippines, a jeepney is called as is, as its shorter
wheelbase counterparts (Jeeps
) are called
short for its local description owner-type
(as jeepneys are also called passenger-type
Another word for jeepney
almost never used. It is best known in a song called Ang Fierra
ni Juan ay may Butas sa Gulong
(Juan's Jeep has a Hole in
being actually a brand of Asian
Utility Vehicle produced by Ford
which is also
used as a jeepney. )
Image:Jeepney Quezon City.jpg|A colorful jeepneyImage:Jeepney in
Greenhills.jpg|A jeepney in Greenhills, San JuanImage:Mrq_jeepney.jpg|A Flash jeepney from
MarinduqueImage:Jeepney with children
Samar.jpg|Jeepney with children in Samar