Owning a private vehicle in the Philippines is not a requirement if you live in a mid-size city or in a large city. All forms of public transportation are cheap and readily available in many areas of the country. There are many taxis, jeepneys and tricycles, also known as trikes, which are the main means of public transportation within the cities. For those not in a hurry, there are many pedicabs available. In Metro Manila, there is LRT, Light Rail Transit, where one can ride across the city with ease, without traffic jams on the rails above the city. Some large cities have city buses but mid-size cities in the Philippines do not have them.
For longer distance travel, there are bus liners and the double tire, which is a vehicle larger than a jeepney but smaller than a full size passenger bus.
A jeepney is a combination jeep and jitney, which is a small passenger bus plying a regular route but with no set schedule. One can wave over a jeepney and the driver will stop most anywhere to pick up passengers. Jeepneys are a very important part of the Filipino culture, as the jeepney is often brightly colored with beautiful art work and usually with a nice stereo sound system. A trike is a motorcycle with a side car attached but can usually handle 5 or more passengers. A pedicab is a bicycle with a side car attached to hold 2-3 passenger and it is motored by foot power.
One of my most exciting adventures in the Philippines is riding the jeepney! The jeepneys are usually crowded, music is sometimes blaring with the latest tunes, people are talking and you are often asked to pass the fare from other passengers toward the front of the jeepney to the driver. Any change is also passed back to the passenger in the same manner.
Taxis are available 24/7 in many mid-size cities and are available in all large cities in the Philippines. The fares vary by P5 from city to city and in Bacolod City where I live, the meter flag falls at P40. The one route fare to ride a jeepney or a trike is P7, which is less than 20 cents in US Currency. The pedicab fare is negotiable between the passenger and peddler but one should take into consideration the weather conditions, such as the heat and rain when paying a fair price. In Metro Manila, the LRT fare is P12-P15, which is less than 50 cents in US Currency.
The longer distance bus liners and the double tires fare is about P40 or $1 to take a trip of about 50 km.
Ready for an exciting adventure on the Philippines public transportation systems?