• Kyodo

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A Tokyo-based company signed a deal Monday with a suburb of Manila for the use of electric tricycles as public transport.

Tokushi Nakashima, chief executive officer and president of Global Mobility Service Inc., signed a memorandum of agreement with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista allowing the company to manage the city’s utilization and operation of electric tricycles, a popular mode of public transportation in the Philippines.

Bautista said Quezon has about 26,000 traditional tricycles powered by gasoline, which authorities say have been a major source of air and noise pollution.

“The ultimate effect is on health. We already have relatively poor air quality,” Bautista said when asked about the benefits of electric tricycles.

He said an additional benefit is that the vehicles will be built locally.

After signing the deal with Quezon, Global Mobility Service turned over to the city government six electric tricycles equipped with the company’s “mobility-cloud connecting system” for testing until April.

Major features of the mobility-cloud connecting system include integrated vehicle monitoring, remote control and an antitheft system.

Nakashima said drivers using the electric tricycles will pay Global Mobile a daily service fee of at least 250 pesos (around ¥650).

If the plan is finalized after the test period, the program would move forward on five-year contracts between Global Mobility Service and recipient drivers, and more electric tricycles will be turned over to the city.

Nakashima said his company hopes to have 1,000 electric tricycles operational in the Philippines this year and is holding talks with a couple of other cities in the Manila area for similar projects.

Quezon City tricycle driver Cesar Arce said he looks forward to operating an electric tricycle.

“It’s environment friendly. I don’t mind the daily fee because we don’t have to spend money on gasoline,” he said.

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