Taxicles now ply Naga streets

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Taxicles now ply Naga streets

Naga City – New yellow-colored public utility vehicles known as "taxicles" are now plying this city's major thoroughfares following the decision by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to grant a temporary franchise for 10 units of this new type of public transport system.

Resolution No. 2014-128, approved on May 6, 2014, allows a 90-day experimentation of the three-wheeled engine-powered yellow trikes 10 working days after SP has given the green light.

NEW TRANSPORT MODE -- This yellow-colored public utility vehicle is the new mode of transport in Naga. It is a cost-effective commercial vehicle with very low maintenance and operational cost. (Ruel Saldico)

The resolution further mandated Joselito Del Rosario, executive director of the Public Safety Office (PSO), to oversee the measure's appropriate implementation which should be carried out in coordination with PISTTON Development and Transport Service Cooperation that owns eight of the 10 approved units and D'Marillac Multipurpose Cooperative, owner of two units. Both are the taxicle project proponents.

Based on the resolution, the PSO will submit its findings on taxicles' public acceptability and the outcome of their services in areas not served by trimobiles after the allowed experimentation period expires.

The taxicle is a customized model of Ape (pronounced ah-pe), an Italian word for bumblebee to connote hard work. The product is manufactured under license of Italy's Piaggio which became popular in the automobile business in that country in 1948.

"Taxicle" is Mayor John G. Bongat's contraction for taxicab and tricycle, the operation of which "will definitely improve further the image of existing trimobiles and provide additional mobility for the public which is attuned to the requirements of the Clean Air Act," Del Rosario said.
Rafael Duque, PISTTON general manager, said the taxicles, which have started plying the city's principal routes since May 19, is powered by 435 cc diesel engine and runs to about 30-36 kilometers  per liter of diesel.

It is described as a cost-effective commercial vehicle that has very low maintenance and operating cost.

"From our office location in Barangay Concepcion Grande to Lignon Hill in Legazpi City we only spent 3 liters of diesel fuel," said Michael Javellana, a resident of Piaggio Ape Naga after he and five other passengers conducted a test run of the unit.

Aside from being economical, Javellana said the taxicle allows the driver to shift gear to be able to drive backward and has a maximum loading capacity of 535 kilograms and costs only P190,000 per unit.

According to Javellana, taxicle can be customized based on the need and satisfaction of the owner, citing the 10 yellow taxicles now plying the streets which were each modified into 9-seater public utility vehicles.

The unit can also be converted into stainless composite expandable mobile store, closed van, patrol car, mobile food shop, jeep, roving ad, florist van, bakery shop, and softdrinks carrier.
With 2,965 millimeter (mm) length and 1,495 mm width, the taxicle's dimension is not too far from the size of a standard trimobile even as it looks more presentable than the latter.
Duque admired the taxicle's capacity to accommodate a larger group of passengers like tourists who prefer to roam the city on board a public passenger vehicle.

"My co-members in PISTTON and I are happy about these taxicles because we see bigger income opportunities here. Imagine, ordinary trimobiles can only accommodate  three to four passengers at the limit while each of these taxicles can carry eight to nine passengers at the same rate as trimobiles," he said.

[source: yahoo philippines news]

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