‘Beeps’ to start plying Cebu City’s streets on Saturday
CEBUANOS can finally get to experience the first set of modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) in time for the holiday rush.
The maiden trips of Bagong Jeeps, popularly known as Beeps, kicked off on December 20, as Persano Corp. started its two-day test drive of the Beeps along its approved routes.
By tomorrow, a Saturday, the Beeps will begin to accommodate passengers.
The Beeps were developed by Persano Corp. under the PUV modernization program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
They were formally introduced during an unveiling ceremony last November 26.
Each air conditioned Beep has a seating capacity of 24 passengers, and can accommodate an additional 10 standing passengers. Each is equipped with free wifi, dashcam, and a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.
Persano Corp. has assigned a total of 40 Beeps for Cebu City, and has two routes, with 20 units deployed in each route.
One route will traverse from Cebu City Hall to IT Park via Robinsons Galleria, Cebu Business Park and vice versa. The second route will travel from R. Duterte Street to Sykes via Happy Valley, Fuente Osmeña, Ramos St., D. Jakosalem St., Cebu Business Park and vice versa.
During yesterday’s pilot test that started at around 3 p.m., three Beep units were deployed in the two routes.
Persano Corp. proposed a minimum fare of P8 for its first five kilometers, and additional P1.20 for each succeeding kilometer.
The Beeps will be operational 24/7.
Lawyer Vigor Mendoza, chairperson of Persano Corp., however, said that not all 40 Beep units will be deployed on Saturday.
“We will be only deploying a few in the first day. Maybe around five units. I mean, hindi naman all the time may pasahero at mapupuno (not all the time will there be passengers and it will be full). We will see in the next few days anong mangyayari (what will happen),” Mendoza explained.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) has given Persano Corp. a 45-day pilot period to determine if the routes they proposed will be feasible in the long run.
Persano Corp. also tapped the help of the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-purpose Cooperative (Citrasco), the largest transport group in Central Visayas with over 1,000 members, in the hiring of drivers for Beeps.
Warren Flores, operations manager of Persano Corp., said drivers get a minimum rate of P500 per 10 hours of duty.
He added that as of yesterday, they already hired around 98 drivers, most of whom are members of Citrasco.
One of those who participated in yesterday’s dry run was Elisio Villarin, 49, who expressed his excitement about driving the modernized PUVs.
“Mas nindot gyud ni kay brand new unya bugnaw pa gyud (This is better because it is brand new and air conditioned, too.),” said Villarin.
A driver for 25 years, Villarin added he also expected to earn more driving a Beep than a regular PUV.
“Inadlaw man siya, dili parehas uban nga mo abang pa ka (I get paid every day instead of having to rent a unit),” said Villarin.
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