Public Transportation in the Philippines.

When it comes to public transportation in the Philippines the options are great. Since almost 90% of the population can not afford to own a car there are multiples of low cost options. Even a taxi ride between 5 and 10 miles long can be as low as $6 USD. Our service does offer a car and driver for rental and at your disposal until you are familiar with the city and surrounding areas.

I will start with the largest and work my way down from there. The ocean is the super highway for transportation between the Islands. There are over 7100 islands here. If you travel long distance between islands the ferries are a good option and inexpensive. The only problem I have with this mode of transport is that sometimes they will overload them and recently we have seen more go down than ever in the past. I have personally never ridden on one of these ferries because a plane ticket from Iloilo to Manila is also inexpensive for me. Roughly 3200 pesos round trip. That’s about $60 USD. However most native people cant afford that and the ferries are a good option for them. I believe a one way trip on the ferry is about 300-500 pesos depending on where you go.

For any trip one might want to take to neighboring islands there are much smaller ferries that they call row-rows. These are also fairly inexpensive and a very good way to Island hop and see some of the great sights the Philippines has to offer.

Land public transportation

 When traveling long distances over land one of the larger buses is a good option. The often do not have air conditioning but are inexpensive and safe for the most part. I have heard of some buss accidents but not many. Sometimes they will get going a bit fast and then risks go up but they are a good option. There are many bus terminals that are relatively easy accessible around any city or even small towns. They will also stop and drop you anywhere you want if you need to get off between terminals. 

The Jeepneys

These are the most used form of public transportation here. In the city they will easily out number the private cars 4 to 1. These vehicles started out when the US left numerous old jeeps here after WWII. The Filipinos being the great recyclers they are transformed these into a mode of mass transit. Each jeepney will carry between 15 and 25 people at a time depending in how big it is. They are marked like a bus with the destinations they serve so if you know where your going and the direction to get there they are a good and inexpensive way to go. The fares are based on a 5km trip for 7 pesos. If your destination is longer than 5km they add 1 peso per km after that.

I have ridden these Jeepneys numerous times and I don’t like them. They are open to all the dust and polution and usually a bumpy ride. They do have designated pick up and drop off areas in the city but once they leave the city they will stop and pick any body up that waves their hand. Usually people will stand right out front of their house and wait for their jeepney to come by so 1 jeep may stop 3 or 4 times in a 100ft space to pick up various riders. The problem is they stop with very little warning and take off the same way. Usually right in the middle of the road so all traffic comes to a stop.  Many drivers do as I do and use some evasive action to swerve and go around them if there is no oncoming traffic.

I have to say that these Jeepney drivers are the most inconsiderate drivers on the road with maybe the exception of the taxi drivers. Its really a toss up as to which ones are the worst. Not all are that bad but the overwhelming majority of them have very little concern for other cars on the road. It is rather surprising that there are not many more accidents involving the jeepneys.

The Taxi

There is not much more to say about the taxis here. Most are air conditioned and are substantially more money to ride in. The same trip from our subdivision to the city will cost 250 pesos when the Jeepney will only cost 10 pesos. By western standards the taxi is still less money at about $5 USD. Its really not to bad if you like the comfort and less of the consistent stop and go of the Jeepney.

The Tricycle

These are self explanatory being a motorcycle with a somewhat home made side car. They are used to transport everything from livestock, people or construction materials. I have seen one tricycle loaded with fifteen or more students getting a ride home. They were piled inside, riding on the back and roughly 6 were on the roof. I have also seen one delivering 12 100lb bags of cement mix with 30 pieces of 20ft 10mm re-bar strapped to the roof. That’s almost 3/4 of a ton of weight.  Of course the side car is built tough but what I haven’t told you yet is that most of these motorcycles they use with these tricycles are rarely bigger than 125cc. None have bigger than a 175cc engine.  

The tricycab

Last but not least is the trycicab. These are the same as the trycycle except made with a bicycle. The side cars are a lot less beefy also. They have no shock absorption so its always a bumpy ride. These tricycabs will go most all places the jeepneys wont so if its a long walk to your destination from the road then they are an option. I have ridden in these many times and one thing about them is they are not built for tall people. I am just over 6ft tall so I was always in a slump the whole ride.

The tricycabs are in abundance also and when they travel on the roads they are somewhat of a danger because there is no bike lane to speak of so they use the same roads as all other vehicles and they will often slow or stop traffic also. The cost of these also depends on how far you ride and are usually more expensive than a Jeepney ride. When we rode them we only went about 1/4 mile and the cost was 20 pesos.