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Fifteen units of the Jeepko, Mahagnaw Transport Corp.’s state-of-the-art and highly modernized public utility vehicle, began full operations on Thursday, serving commuters between this city and the nearby town of Tanauan.

The Jeepko, a Russian-made 22-seater Euro-4 compliant public utility van, was launched in March 2020 with six units operating during the height of lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Cesario Licopit, vice president and operations head of Mahagnaw Transport, said the company managed to provide free transport service for two months to Tanauan public commuters, particularly medical workers and other front-liners when public transport services were forced to stop due to strict travel restrictions.

“For a minimal fare of PHP15 to PHP33, the air-conditioned but health protocol-compliant Jeepko units afford the Tanauan public commuters (a) comfortable yet safe ride,” Licopit told reporters.

This transport modernization project is consistent with the modernization agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte on public transport in the country, he added.

Sherwin Cabigon, the company’s chief executive officer, said an added feature that complements the comfort the Jeepko offers to its riding patrons is the convenience it extends with the use of its cashless fare payment system using the reloadable Tripko Card.

The company is distributing the Tripko cards for free to its commuters, Cabigon said.

He said until April 30, Jeepko would be giving a PHP3 discount to those who would avail of and use the Tripko card.

The company is also eyeing to expand its operations to other franchise areas in the province, and possibly other parts of the region, provided there is a viable opportunity, Cabigon said.

Tanauan Mayor Pelagio Tecson thanked the transport firm for this development as it addresses the transportation problem of daily commuters in their town.

The coastal town is about 15 km. away from Tacloban, the regional capital. (PNA)

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