I no longer own a car. I sold that when I moved. I have no plans to get a vehicle here, but that may change down the road. It seems it has for many others, and it remains to be seen whether I follow that path.

I take local transportation, trike and jeepney, for the most part. There is an occasional taxi ride thrown in, and a couple of times I have been given rides. Those I’m always very appreciative of, but it’s the jeepney that is my main mode of transportation at this time.

These jeepneys come in various shapes and sizes, and I will readily admit I do not care for the sub-micro multicabs. There seem to be mulitcabs, which in themselves are very small, and then these other things that are just too small for anyone, going any distance. I’m not sure if I could even fit in the driver seat of those, and I am not a big guy. Not at all. No, I avoid those unless they are empty, and I’m only going a few blocks.

I’ve been getting out on my own, trying to learn the system and the routes that I need to take. For the most part it has gone really well. There have been the instances where the driver has tried to overcharge, sometimes substantially, but that has only happened a few times, so far. I don’t appreciate it when it happens. If I am budgeting such that I need to take the jeepney, as opposed to the taxi or personal vehicle, then I expect to be charged fairly. Some jeepeneys do have a chart, and I will look at that if needed and available.

Probably my biggest challenges are knowing where I’m going, and finding the correct jeepneys to get there. Most times I will need a transfer, and knowing where to catch that, and the correct transfer to take can be confusing. It wouldn’t be so difficult if I knew Davao better, and the names of the streets, but I’m still learning. So it is a combination of the geography and the routes.

To that extent I’ve been studying the Davao City map. It’s a big help to me. I’ve always been able to understand direction and areas better by looking at maps. I typically do this before heading out on my own to an area that I don’t know that well.

It would be even better if I could also study the jeepney routes, and plan my trip and transfers before taking a trip. Unfortunately the jeepney routes seem to be a hidden secret, only known to those that apply for them or have taken them many times. To be fair, they do post them on the side of the jeepney, and if you read really quick, with eagle eyes, you can know the exact route they take. Some even post the areas they will be going to next on plastic plaques viewable through the front window. I’ve have better luck looking there.

Usually if I’m not sure, I just ask before boarding. Since everyone nods when I speak, I typically ask twice to confirm they really knew what I was asking.

I’ve looked online for a Davao Jeepney Route Map, but so far have not had any success. I did find an article that said there were 82 routes, so obviously that information came from somewhere. I also know that to get a route, a driver has to apply with the LTO, so my guess is that the LTO has an official listing of these routes – somewhere.

What I’m thinking about doing is creating an online resource for the Davao Jeepney Routes. A reference that can be accessed and used for those that are not familiar with the routes, and the area. It may possibly even help those that are already familiar find more efficient routes to take. Of course I need to figure out how and where to get the information first.

Actually, what I’m really hoping is that someone will take my idea and beat me to it. I figure if I publicize it in an article then it’s just a matter of time before someone here will take it as their own. Of course if I want them to, then they probably won’t.

Photo credit: laurahopper.blogspot.com/2007/08/samal-island-jeepney-tour.html

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