ELECTRIC buses will soon ply the streets of Mandaue City.
This after the Mandaue City government inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with GET Global Philippines for the Comet (City Optimized Managed Electric Transport) project on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023.
This new transport service is a fleet of low-emission, air-conditioned and pollution-free Comet electric buses developed by electric vehicle manufacturer GET Philippines.
“We’re going green. This is what we call the green revolution of Mandaue City,” said Mayor Jonas Cortes at the signing of the MOA with GET Global Philippines managing director Anthony Dy, which was witnessed by GET Green Transport Inc. board member Andrew Lim and Mandaue City Councilor Jimmy Lumapas.
Mandaue City is the first local government unit partner of GET Philippines in the Visayas.
Under the MOA, GET Philippines will deploy 10 Comet buses in Mandaue City. In return, the City will supply charging stations, parking spaces and bus stops. The charging station will be placed at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex.
“I believe that with the use of technologically advanced management systems, we become more efficient and effective in delivering services that eventually contribute to easing the traffic problems that we are facing today,” Dy said.
According to the initial plan outlined by Hyll Retuya, who leads the Legal and Investigative Division at the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue, the proposed routes for the 10 electric buses will include Mandaue City to Liloan, among others.
The electric buses are slated to begin operation either in December this year or January next year.
Mandaue City is also eyeing to purchase one Comet bus, with an approximate cost of P4 million for the use of City Hall employees, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
The City Government is set to issue riding passes to ensure a seamless and complimentary access for these specific demographics. This will be accessible through GET Pass, a mobile application created by GET. The app streamlines the process of booking rides, automating fare collection, managing the fleet and handling passenger management.
“It will depend on the LGU to whom we will give the riding passes, but then again we have consideration like for the government employees, senior citizens and PWD (persons with disability),” Retuya added.
SunStar Cebu had the opportunity to experience a ride on the Comet, a compact six-meter shuttle that can accommodate 20 passengers seated, with an additional 10 standing comfortably on the central floor.
The Comet project’s objective is to create a lasting positive influence on the environmental sustainability of both the city and the nation by substantially decreasing harmful emissions, harnessing the potential of innovative technologies, and promoting inclusive advantages for everyone.
The e-vehicle is air-conditioned and includes a designated slot for customers with disabilities who use wheelchairs.
It can cover a distance of 100 kilometers on a single full charge, even while running the air conditioning. Additionally, it offers free Wi-Fi and features fast-charging technology.
Cortes said this green mobility aims to make Mandaue a better place to live in, a significant step forward in providing accessible transportation to residents in Mandaue.
“We are addressing our environmental responsibilities, reducing carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner, greener future of the city,” Cortes said.
However, Dy said the electric vehicles are not capable of enduring floods that are waist-deep.
The Mandaue LGU will oversee the operation of the buses to guarantee strict adherence to safety and health guidelines.