- Travel and Places
15 Different Public Transportation Modes
The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands, and each and everyone of those islands has some beauty to offer to a traveler or a long-time resident. It is therefore natural that different public transportations are available to go around these many islands.>
There are a lot of different public transportation modes in the Philippines, and here are fifteen of them. According to Wikipedia, public transportation means “passenger transportation that is available for the general public”. These will therefore exclude private jets, hired vans that require a negotiation and a contract on the rates, and similar other rides, though those are available in the Philippines, too. With these in mind, here are more than a dozen public transportation modes in the Philippines. Some are usual, some are quite interesting.
Buses are one of the most popular modes of transportation in the Philippines. Plying the major roads of the metropolis, these buses can sit about 50-60 people. In full capacity, though, as much as 100 people can fit in one bus ride. Provincial buses on the other hand, take people from the metro to the different provinces. A provincial bus ride can last from as short as 2 or 3 hours to 3 days, depending on the destination. Longer bus rides usually include a ferry ride. The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands and farther provinces are separated by a body of water from the main city. Nowadays, most buses have a television in it to entertain the passengers. Traffic in Metro Manila is quite heavy, and movies and shows played in buses are a welcome respite for the city travelers.
Uniquely Filipino, jeepneys are non-airconditioned, inexpensive way to go around anywhere in the Philippines. Minimum transportation fare is benchmarked on 4 kilometers’ worth of travel by a jeepney. It can usually carry around 14 to 24 people, seated on two benches facing each other. Some people are adventurous and would ride the steps of the jeepney, and others (mostly seen in the provinces) would ride on top of the roof. Recently, electric-powered jeepneys can be seen in the country’s leading business districts, obviously an effort on becoming greener.
speaking, cabs are vehicles for hire, but since they are available for the
general public, they, too, can be classified as public transport. Taxicabs are
a favorite among the working class, particularly those who are in the upper
rungs of the corporate echelon, but who would rather not drive.Used to be in classic bright yellows, cabs are now in harder-to-spot whites.
4. Trike/ Tricycle
Fondly called a “poor man’s cab”, this three-wheeled vehicle takes a person almost anywhere he wants to go to. Prohibited in major roads, trikes are always sporting a certain color, to show which group they belong to, and to indicate the route they are allowed to take. This ride can take about 4 people.
A simpler version of the tricycle, this is made from bicycle with an
attached seat made from some GI pipes and a little upholstery. It is very much
similar to the tricycle except it moves by sheer human force. This is a
favorite for short rides, say, from the house to the local store 200meters
away.This is also a popular ride during rainy season, as it can take someone across a puddle or a really serious portion of flood.
Metro Manila was pretty much developed when it saw the first rise of the metro rail transit (MRT) and light rail transit (LRT) systems, sometime in the 1990s. Because of this, all train systems are not underground and today there are around 5 train lines around the metropolis, and still increasing. A person can go from east to north to west without touching ground, mainly just by hopping from one train line to another.
are big boats that can take vehicles on board, moving from one major island to
another. The Philippines has three major islands: Luzon (where Metro Manila
is), Visayas, and Mindanao. As an example, a provincial bus will need to ride
these ferries to get to their destination.
Boats are essential when going to the major beaches in the Philippines. These are the ones that will take you from the mainland to the sandy white beaches to get a tan.
Much smaller and less powerful than boats, bancas serve as “water taxis” and will take you to a specific location you’d want to go to. In the beaches, bancas are for rent by the hour and serve as your private service for the day. No island hopping nor snorkeling is possible without a banca.
Having gained much popularity in recent years, airplanes gave ferries a run for their money when they introduced seat sales, zero fares, econofares, econolights and other promotions that made airplane rides more affordable and more attractive to the public. Before, plane rides were perceived to be the ride of the rich and the can afford, nowadays everybody flies. For example, a round-trip fare to Thailand used to cost Ph 25,000 ($520) some five years ago. Nowadays, Manila to Bangkok and back again only costs as low as Ph 6,500 ($135). Without a doubt, the improvement in the airplane fares was a big enabler for many Filipinos and foreign visitors alike.
A cross between a cab and a jeepney, these FXs can best be viewed as a carpool ride among strangers. Tamaraw FX, an all-purpose utility vehicle by Isuzu, was the first to be used to go to a certain destination, with fixed tariff rates, hence the term “FX”. Nowadays, there are almost no Tamaraw FXs on the road, and most of the vehicles used as FX are Toyota Revo, Isuzu Crosswind, Mitsubishi Adventure, and the like.
Horse-drawn carriages are still existent in old cities of the Philippines, particularly Intramuros, Binondo and Vigan. They function much like the tricycle and the pedicab, only they are horse-powered.
13. Habal habal
is your ordinary motorcycle, but it can do extraordinary things! Most popular
in the mountainous regions in the country, this is a ride for the really
adventurous.Imagine a simple motorcycle taking in six or more people and you sort of get the picture. Before venturing on this unique ride, better ask a friend on the dos and donts!
If Thailand has their elephants and the Middle East has their camels, then Philippines has its carabao. You can ride directly on a carabao’s back or on the carriage it pulls. Either way, it is an experience you won’t likely forget, as you witness the sheer strength of the country’s national animal.
15. Somebody’s shoulders
Yes, somebody’s shoulder is also a means to go to one point from another, and it is available for the general public. This is usually done when going to ride the boat from the pier, or vice versa, and the water is high. To avoid being wet prematurely, tourists will have to graciously “ride” someone’s shoulders. “Fare” is fixed whether you are small, heavy or anything in between, but this fare is dictated by the locals, and it varies from one place to another.
There you go – a simple compilation of the country’s different modes of transportation. This is just a simple proof that it is very easy to go around in this country, whether to visit the mountains and commune with nature, or to get a nice golden tan.
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