Electric tricycles will start plying the streets of Binondo and Malate next month as part of the City of Manila’s battery- and environment-friendly tricycle program, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said.
50 drivers from the local tricycle operators and drivers association of Malate and Binondo were selected to be the first recipients of the e-trikes.
Mayor Estrada said that choosing Malate and Binondo as the pilot areas of the e-trike program will boost tourism and businesses in the country’s capital as the two areas are the centers of commerce and businesses.
“Aside from helping our tricycle drivers improve their livelihood, we deemed it best to introduce e-trikes in Malate and Binondo to further boost tourism and businesses there,” he said.
Binondo is known to be the city’s Chinatown and is home to most historical and cultural sites and properties in Manila. While Malate, with Ermita is one of Manila’s tourist belts and where big businesses and resort hotels are located. (Read: E-trike charging stations rise in Manila’s tourist belt)
No tricycle drivers left behind
Estrada said tricycle drivers in Manila will benefit the e-trike program and no one will be displaced. The program will have its soft opening set on October 15.
“No, we won’t be taking away their source of income. In fact, we will be giving them a better alternative—these battery-run tricycles, which are cheaper and easier to maintain, so their earnings will definitely increase,” he said.
An orientation and seminar will be held for the tricycle drivers on the operation on the e-trikes.
He added that the beneficiary drivers will only pay P150 to 200 a day for four tears for the e-trikes. The city hall bought the units for P380,000 each.
The e-trike program is an attempt in fighting air pollution and improve some 5,000 tricycle drivers and colorum pedicab drivers’ livelihood in the city.
The Manila government was able to produce an initial 384 battery – operated vehicles that will be distributed to tricycle drivers through a “boundary-hulog” scheme.