With so much happening in the world, we have to admit that we sometimes miss out on really important local stories. Or perhaps with our publication\'s focus on cars, some people think we aren\'t that much concerned with public transportation--which is actually not the case.
Anyway, the reason we\'re saying this is because a small fleet of diesel hybrid buses (Euro IV at that, supposedly) has apparently been plying a regular route from Buendia to Kalayaan in Makati City. We chanced upon one of the units of Green Frog Hybrid Bus on a recent trip to the city, and our interest was piqued enough for us to discover the bus operator\'s Facebook page, Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport.
From an initial number of two units when the bus franchise started its operation in May 2013, Green Frog Zero Emissions Transport now has eight hybrid diesel buses that ply the aforementioned route from 5:30am to as late as 10pm. Unlike regular buses that stop and go whenever and wherever they please, the Green Frog Hybrid Bus only stops at 17 designated areas in each direction, with the end points being the LRT 1 Gil Puyat station and C5 Buting, and with the interval between buses set at 15 minutes.
While the bus charges a flat fare of P20, a prepaid tap card worth P200 is also available, with the cardholder receiving one free ride once the total amount has been consumed.
The Green Frog Hybrid Bus also has features that make it a first-world commuting experience, like closed-circuit television cameras, a global positioning system that allows commuters to find out the bus\'s current location by calling the \'Saan Po Kayo\' locator hotline at (0917) 640-3143 or (0917) 640-3148, an air-conditioning system that maintains a constant 22 degrees Centigrade for the entire trip, spaces for luggage and shopping bags, and color-coded seats for the elderly, pregnant women and people with disabilities.
Driving the Green Frog Hybrid Buses are lady drivers who have undergone preventive maintenance training by the operator\'s technical consultants and have been tested and certified by both the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
If you haven\'t ridden a Green Frog Hybrid Bus, we suggest you give it a try. It might change your perception of Philippine public transportation.
Photo by Patrick Everett Tadeo