Bamboo taxis get global attention

A tiny fifth-class municipality in Leyte is gaining the world's attention with its ingenious mode of transportation: the bamboo taxi.
Jul 14, 2009
A tiny fifth-class municipality in Leyte is gaining the world's attention with its ingenious mode of transportation: the bamboo taxi.

Citizens of Tabontabon, a town 30 kilometers south of Leyte's capital, Tacloban City, have been riding ECO taxis made of bamboo and powered by coco biodiesel.

According to the Tabontabon Organic Transport Industry (TOTI), the bamboo taxis were the town's response to the people's need for a suitable mode of transportation. Prior to the launch of the ECO taxi, passengers rode habal-habals, motorcycles which are fast yet uncomfortable, deemed unsafe and prone to going off-balance. And although jeepneys are a safer and more comfortable alternative, passengers tend to grow impatient with the amount of time needed to fill them.

The ECO1 can carry 20 people, including the driver, while the ECO2 can transport eight. Both bamboo taxis run for eight hours on one gallon of 100 percent coco-biodiesel. The taxis are covered with banig or traditional woven mats.

The taxis were made by town's out-of-school youth. The Tabontabon Organic Transport Industry said a chassis made of bamboo is currently being developed for the production of a third bamboo taxi.

According to TOTI, a third vehicle is already under development with a chassis that would also be made of bamboo.

Tabontabon's bamboo taxis have been featured in AutoBlog , Inhabitat.com , and FastCompany.com.
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