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History of the Philippine Jeepney

Jeepney HistoryJeepneys are a popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are well known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating.

As American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of World War II, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to local Filipinos. Locals stripped down the jeeps to accommodate several passengers, added metal roofs for shade, and decorated the vehicles with vibrant colors and bright chrome hood ornaments.

Jeepney HistoryThe jeepney rapidly emerged as a popular and creative way to re-establish inexpensive public transportation, which had been virtually destroyed during World War II. Recognizing the wide-spread use of these vehicles, the Philippine government began to place restrictions on their use. Drivers now must have specialized licenses, regular routes, and reasonably fixed fares.

Jeepney HistoryAlthough the original jeepneys were simply refurbished military jeeps, modern jeepneys are now produced by independently owned factories within the Philippines. In the central Philippine island of Cebu, the bulk of jeepneys are built using second-hand Japanese trucks, originally intended for hauling cargo rather than passengers. These are euphemistically known as "surplus" trucks.

Etymology

The word jeepney is usually believed to come from the words "jeep" and "knee" because of the crowded seating, passengers must sit knee to knee. Hence, the word jeepney. The word jeepney is also commonly believed to be a portmanteau of "jeep" and "jitney". – source: http://en.wikipedia.org