The modernized PUVs, assembled using the Isuzu QKR77 platform and the rear body designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp, are air-conditioned Class 2 PUVs with a side-facing seat configuration. The Isuzu QKR platform is assembled in the Philippines and is equipped with Euro IV-compliant 4JH1-TC Diesel Engine that delivers excellent fuel economy.
The new PUV body is compliant with Philippine National Standards (PNS 2126:2017). The passenger cabin floor-to-ceiling height and gangway width are 1,780 mm and 830 mm, respectively, providing more space for passengers to move easily inside. The passenger door is safely situated on the right-hand side, facing the sidewalk. Other design features of the body include panoramic windows and windshields, full-body insulation with GeneQ shield, automatic door closer, and provisions for persons with disabilities.
Completing the modernized look and features of the new PUVs are the LED TV monitors for real-time information including station details, route, date, time, weather, news, and advertisement, LED electronic signage for vehicle route information, fire extinguishers, CCTV, dashcam and back-up cameras, and the automatic fare collection -- all geared for passengers’ safety, entertainment, and added convenience in fare collection.
The formal turnover ceremony, attended by Mr. Hajime Koso (President of Isuzu Phils Corp), Engr. Ric Pallesco (General Manager and President of MetroExpress Connect, Inc.), DOTr Asec. Mark de Leon, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra and Villar Group founder Mr. Manny Villar, marks a significant milestone for the province, as this signals the start of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in Iloilo.
Members and operators of Metro Express Connect, no strangers to Isuzu light commercial vehicles, chose the truck maker’s modernized jeepney primarily for the Isuzu Advantage unmatched by other modernized jeepney makers.
The Isuzu Advantage offers the following:
A nationwide network of 41 dealers, complete with servicing facilities. This dealership network is still growing as IPC intensifies expansion this year;
Nationwide parts availability, showcased by a 6,000-sqm warehouse facility to cope with the increasing demand for parts;
Expert service technicians, and special Japanese truck field engineers available to support and answer customers’ queries and other technical requirements;
The Isuzu Mobile Medic, specialized service trucks that provide roadside assistance to fleet customers;
Training for drivers and mechanics, heavy-duty truck safety driving training and the recently launched eco-driving program to teach fleet drivers the importance of efficient driving.
The initial batch of 15 units IPC turned over to Metro Express Connect represents half of the original order of 30 units of the mass transport provider.
The same design and build excellence, and Isuzu Advantage apply to the other modernized jeepneys from IPC with bodybuilder partners Santarosa and Centro Motors Corp.
“The fruitful collaboration between IPC and the wholly Filipino-owned Almazora Motors Corp ensures that Iloilo City’s commuters ride only in world-class public utility vehicles that also take into careful consideration passenger safety, comfort, and the particular locality’s needs,” IPC President Hajime Koso explained.
The PUVMP is envisioned to replace some 200,000 jeepneys nationwide 15 years and older with new, safe and environmentally friendly public utility vehicles.
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