These vehicles are, by far, one of the most quirkily beautiful public transports I’ve ever been on. We’ve been on jeepney rides in Cebu City, and without Arthur’s help I most likely would have not known what to do. For anybody who is curious about how to ride a jeepney, here is a quick “How To”.
Jeepneys are the quintessential public transports in the Philippines. They convey people, and sometimes goods, all over the archipelago. These vehicles are “pimped up” World War 2 leftovers of US military jeeps. They come in the most colourful varieties, each Jeepney looking different from the others. They are decorated with lights, stickers, graffiti; and usually have religious symbols, like the crucifix, or little statues of the Virgin Mary, around the driver’s seat.
Jeepneys have usually a seat for two at the front and two long seats at the back. It’s not uncommon to see Jeepneys overcrowded to the seams, sometimes with people sitting up on the roof. This happens a lot when it is rush hour.
Here’s how to ride a commuting adventure that is the Jeepney:
- Every Jeepney has its own designated route so just stand at the street along that designated route. In big cities, there are designated Jeepney stops, but in practice, the drivers just stop wherever the passengers are. Outside of big cities, there are no such things as Jeepney stops.
- When you see the Jeepney, flag it down with your hand.
- Jump quickly inside, the Jeepney doesn’t stop for long.
- If the driver has a helper (called conductor) who is standing outside at the back of the Jeepney, give the fare to him. Otherwise, give the money to the passenger next to you, who, in turn, will pass it to the next passenger until it reaches the driver. If the driver needs to give the change back, it will be handed from the front, passenger by passenger, until it reaches you.
- Enjoy the ride! Watch for your belongings though.
- When you reach your destination, you can either make a loud kissing sound, or knock on the Jeepney’s ceiling or handrail so the driver will stop. Again, no stop sign, you can just get out anywhere you want.