December 3, 2011

SHARED RIDE: Philippine 'Jeepney' Buses

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Jeepney is a form of independent public transport unique to the Southeast island nation of the Philippines. The word, Jeepney is a combination of Jeep and Jitney; and that is actually an apt description. The first vehicles utilized as Jeepneys were surplus U.S. Army Jeeps that were purchased after the end of WWII. Over the years other vehicles have been built and adapted for use as Jeepneys, but they retain the same basic design. They are often brightly painted and customized with flamboyant decorations. Jeepneys have become more regulated over the years. In some jurisdictions this includes reserving seats for disabled passengers. While considered a reactively safe form of transport, the buses are still crowded, uncomfortable, and their drivers must contend with congested streets of large cities such as Metro Manila (pop. 11 million). Video #1 below shows (in a light hearted manner) some of the etiquette riders use onboard Jeepneys. The second video is the documentary Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver. Produced by the BBC, it is part of a series called Toughest Place to be a.... They show ordinary British workers experiencing the life of others in the same occupation in other countries and cultures under some of the most difficult conditions in the world. In this program a London bus driver goes to Manila to live the life of a Jeepney driver.

VIDEO #1: How to Ride the Jeepney in the Philippines

VIDEO #2: Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver

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