Tricycle Diaries

On a recent visit to the Philippines, I found myself gawking at two iconic modes of (public) transportation, the tricycle and the jeepney. They remain major sources of gridlock, chaos, and pollution, and many local residents would love to see them banned from the streets of Metro Manila. I doubt that will happen anytime soon, as they remain a cheap mode of public transportation, for a city lacking alternatives – save for a train system that doesn’t really cover large swaths of the metropolis. (For a good overview of traffic in Metro Manila, see this recent Economist article.)

Tricycles

Hanging on to Jeepneys in the manner above, is technically illegal (citation + fine) but it doesn’t seem to deter passengers much. Apparently people indulge in an even riskier practice with tricycles (also illegal). The photos below were taken while I was an Uber passenger in cars trailing these tricycles:

tricycle-back

While most tricycles are motorized, many in the Intramuros and “Old Manila” area were pedal powered:

tricycle-bike

Jeepney (“the king of the road”)

The Jeepney as a “school bus”:
jeepney-school-bus.jpg
 

Packed Jeepney, and it’s not even rush hour:
jeepney-packed2