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Davao Light, GET Philippines launch BEST BUS: Davao’s first e-bus system

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Davao Light President & COO Rodger Velasco (extreme right) led the BEST Bus Launch today to give Davaoeños efficient and environmentally sustainable means of transportation

In partnership with the city government of Davao, the Aboitiz Group with AboitizPower unit Davao Light and Power Company (Davao Light), GET Philippines, and QEV Technologies in Spain launched today the BEST Bus project ー the first fully electric, free-ride shuttle service in Mindanao, making Davao among the first pilot cities in the country.

BEST stands for Business for Environmentally Sustainable Transformation, and is an initiative advocating to “be green, be digital, and be kind” for the betterment of the community.

In significantly reducing harmful emissions, maximizing available new technologies, and encouraging inclusive benefits for all, the BEST Bus project aims to leave a lasting impact on the environmental sustainability of the city and the country.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte expressed her gratitude to Davao Light and GET Philippines for supporting the city’s various initiatives over the years. “Thank you to Davao Light and GET Philippines for providing Dabawenyos with a safer and more convenient transport experience, and for helping bring Davao City closer to a more sustainable future. You have  provided invaluable assistance in the areas of health, the economy, the  environment, and now, in the field of transportation,” she noted.

She stressed that the project is a welcome initiative as it is aligned with the city’s efforts to provide efficient and environmentally sustainable transportation options for the riding public.

“These buses marry modern convenience, functionality and environmental  sustainability, and will be a treat for Dabawenyos this Christmas season – for not only are they fully electric and zero-emission buses, but they are also  equipped with internet connectivity, and ramps and wheelchair slots for  persons with disabilities (PWDs),” she said.

Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said the organization is proud to be a part of an initiative that marries technology and good governance to create a platform that improves quality of life for all.

“We also thank GET Philippines and QEV Technologies Spain for being our partners in this public-private endeavor. BEST Bus serves as our contribution to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals by providing innovative solutions for a cleaner, safer, and kinder world,” he noted.

He explained that Aboitiz has a long history with Davao City, starting with the city’s 9-1-1 system that used Davao Light’s electric posts as one of the means to get the system running. The Group also manages Cleanergy Park, an icon of biodiversity in the city, and operates Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc., which currently builds an alternative water source for the city’s future water needs.

Soon to roam the streets of Davao, the BEST Bus features an electric ramp that makes it convenient for persons with disabilities (PWDs)

A total of seven new fully air-conditioned electric buses feature an electric ramp and reserved space for PWDs. Each of the buses, which will be operating from the Davao Light office in Ponciano, Davao City, has a maximum capacity of 30 persons. However in observance of the current social distancing protocols,  only half of this capacity will be allowed during the initial operations.,

Davao Light and Power Company President and Chief Operating Officer Rodger Velasco said the 100% fully electric feature of the bus means no harmful emissions, only sustainable impact on the environment.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, Davao Light together with the rest of the Aboitiz Group, our partners especially GET Philippines look at ways to support our beloved Davao City while ensuring that the environment is not harmed,” he stressed.

Available to the public, the BEST Bus will operate daily on two downtown routes, through the major city centers, with bus stops every 400 meters along the way.

The BEST Bus rides may be accessed by the public for free via the BEST Pass on the GET Pass app, which is available for free download on Google Play and Apple App stores. QR Codes for the app are available on the BEST Bus and BEST Bus stops.

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