August 6, 2010

Hang on

For those who have been intrigued by that uniquely Filipino mode of public transportation, the jeepney, here's what it's like riding in one. It has two long bench-like seats at the sides where passengers sit thigh-to-thigh and elbow-to-elbow when the jeepney is full. There are no seat belts, just bars on the ceiling to hang on to so you don't slip and slide on the seat (especially when the driver makes sudden turns or stops). You pay the driver directly and to do so, you either have to scoot on over beside him (if the jeepney is empty) or the money gets passed from passenger to passenger until it's handed to him (or to you, if you have change). Because he also collects the fare, the driver has to keep track of which passenger has paid and who has not, aside from trying to keep his eye on the road, of course.

inside a jeepney


Read my title again. I mean it.

looking at the street from inside a jeepney


I'm not against jeepneys for public transportation. They are very convenient—they can travel routes that big buses cannot because the roads are narrow, and which tricycles cannot because they're too far. But I really think it's high time that they get a complete redesign.

24 comments:

Photo Cache said...

now that you are explaining how the jeepney experience works i am getting a high regard for the jeepney driver. i always overlook his skills. great job.

bfarr said...

I'll try anything once...even a ride in a jeepney : )

Barb said...

Oh dear, I hope people don't fall out too often! I've never heard of jeepneys before - thanks for teaching me something new!

brattcat said...

I've heard of x-treme sports. This is some kind of x-treme public transportation.

ρομπερτ said...

What an adventure ! Always a safe road / journey ahead for you ! Over here many taxi drivers "collect" passengers as well, until there are three, four or five of them inside the car. Please have a good Friday.

daily athens

AL said...

The driver is a multi tasker but what I don't like with these jeepneys is the habit of overloading.

Kate said...

It looks like a sleek and more more modern version of the same form of transportation in the red trucks in Mazatlan, Mexico.

gogouci said...

The close quarters would make for a very tight and cozy ride on busy routes.

Cezar and Léia said...

oh gosh, it's dangerous! I would prefer walking!
hugs
Léia

Mike Rose said...

Hilda we have a similar shared vehicle here called a sonthaew based on a pick-up truck.

Not as fancy as the Jeepneys I have seen on documentaries about the Philippines.

I seem to remember they have competitions for the best one?

VP said...

Not much comfortable but probably quite useful.

Birdman said...

Love your take on this. That second shot just about says it all. Ha!

Francisca said...

Great title... and I won't start with what I think of jeepneys or their drivers... :-D This is sure a nice clean new one you found to shoot, though, Hilda. And is that rood padded so you don't nick your head? The only time I ride jeepneys in when I'm in the countryside. The city is just too polluted and hot. :-)

Kaori said...

I still remember my ride, so much fun! It was like riding a roller coaster...and yes, I was hanging on for dear life :D

Eki said...

It looks very much like our Angkot. Your Jeepney is of course bigger and look more spacious than our Angkot. :D

Halcyon said...

I bet that makes for an exciting journey! Hope there are not too many accidents though.

☺lani☺ said...

Remember the joke:
If there will be an accident because of reckless driver, the driver will be the first to be in heaven...why? because all the passengers are praying for him... lol!
Happy Weekend!

Boom Nisanart said...

Great captured of life in the city !


Everyday Melbourne
Everyday Shot

Louis la Vache said...

HANG ON!, indeed!
When «Louis» makes his first visit to Manila, he'll treat you to a Jeepney ride and he'll pay the driver to go extra fast just for you!

(What a friend, huh?!)

;-D

Dina said...

Thanks for the inside story and view, Hilda.

It reminds me, when I moved to Israel in 1968 the Nature Protection Society offered great all-day guided hikes in the wilderness. We traveled to the starting point in trucks, open at the back, with four rows of benches like in your jeepney.
But there was nothing to hold on to. :)
We would be jolted up and down and sideways.
I kind of miss that "togetherness" that was created in the group of strangers.

Joy said...

One of the top things I would change - designating stops for buses and jeeps. It's just crazy that people can hop on one anywhere they like. The other thing is to make it easier for passengers to know whether they're on the right bus/jeep is to simply give them numbers. So even a tourist can conveniently get around if all they need to get from one place to another is to take Jeepney Number 3 or 5, or Bus Number 10 or 13. And make sure the drivers stick to the routes!


So what are you doing this weekend?

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come visit again tomorrow!

Ming the Merciless said...

It looks like the buses I travel on in Baja California, Mexico many years ago. The low ceiling was a huge problem for me because I keep bumping my head.

Steffe said...

Sure looks comfy!

AB said...

Looks like quite a ride. Hang on to your hat!