The tough MVIS test could wipe out most traditional jeepneys
You've seen what kind of checks they do in MVIS facilities. It's a tough test that could see a lot of cars fail on their first try. One can say it's comprehensive and it's nothing like the old system. PUVs are not exempt from this test, although they aren't being checked yet.
However, this got us thinking: Can MVIS fast-track the PUV Modernization Program? Let's first take a look at the current state of public transport. Right now, we see a mix of modern and traditional jeeps plying the streets. While DOTr Undersecretary Mark De Leon said that more operators are getting the new design, the pandemic jilted any plans for overhauling the entire country's fleet.
The full implementation of PUVMP was supposed to start back in July 2020, but we were all locked in our homes by March. Later on, the DOTr allowed some old jeepneys back on the road. Now, it seems like we're back in the old days.
But given how tough the MVIS test is, it seems that the inspection could spell the end for the traditional jeepneys. If anything, the stringent examination can force operators to shift to the new PUVs. Let's not kid ourselves here, do you think an old jeepney can pass the initial inspection, let alone the annual check? Also, when did you last see, or ever see, a traditional jeep with seatbelts?
On paper, the modern PUV is safer, cleaner, and more comfortable than the old jeepneys. For the latter to pass inspection, the operator will have to spend tens of thousands of Pesos just to stay compliant. But given how dilapidated some of these are, it would probably be more practical to buy a brand-new unit.
The MVIS, along with the requirements of the PUVMP, make it nearly impossible for dilapidated PUVs to still be allowed on the road. Of course, implementation is a different matter. But if the government is serious about upgrading mass transit, they should enforce the guidelines as strictly as possible.
That said, old jeepneys can still take fares even with the advent of PUVMP. The DOTr stated that these vehicles could roam the streets as long as they pass the stringent inspection. But if MVICs will be strict about it, there's a good chance that a sizable chunk of traditional jeepneys will be wiped out from the roads.