Manila, Philippines (8 May 2020)―COVID-19 outbreaks have not only caused unprecedented and prolonged challenges to our social and daily activities, but more significantly, posed serious threats to human lives. Each segment of society, such as local governments, businesses and individuals, are playing their role in the fight against the virus. Among those, healthcare workers are tirelessly working day and night to save lives, putting themselves at risk.
In appreciation of and respect for the dedication of these heroes, Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), an independent not-for-profit foundation aimed at enabling mobility for all, announced today that they will provide up to 10 connected and sanitized shuttles to Philippine General Hospital. These free-of-charge shuttles will help medical and other staff at the hospital commute safely and efficiently, giving them peace of mind.
The "Just-in-Time" app designed by Singapore-based SWAT Mobility will allow commuters to book seats and generate effective and efficient commuting routes based on passengers' pick-up location and time. In addition, the shuttles will be equipped with products and services for sanitization, such as air purification devices, seat covers that will be periodically replaced, and frequent cleansing services. The number of passengers allowed in a vehicle will also be limited for social distancing.
The service is expected to last for three months, with operational support from Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation and Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
Similar services have already been launched in Bangkok, Thailand to support the commute of healthcare staff at Rajavithi Hospital. The service was started in mid-April with fixed routes and is in the process of being supplemented with a Just-in-Time app for on-demand operations to begin in mid-May.
Representing TMF, Mr. Pras Ganesh, Program Director for Asia Region, said, "We are deeply honored to expand TMF's connected and sanitized services to the Philippines with the aim of providing medical front-liners with safe, free and convenient commuting options during this difficult time. We are also looking to implement this service in other Southeast Asian countries in the near future."
About the Toyota Mobility Foundation
The Toyota Mobility Foundation was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society. The Foundation aims to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. It utilizes Toyota's expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, governments, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world. Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for next generation mobility.
Visit http://toyotamobilityfoundation.org/en/ for more information.
The Toyota Group has positioned this initiative for supporting the around-the-clock efforts of the frontlines of the medical sector, which are working hard to diagnose and treat patients for COVID-19, as part of Toyota's Kokoro Hakobu Project*. Going forward, in response to requests from such entities as medical facilities and local governments for the provision of transport vehicles for COVID-19 patients, Toyota intends to continue considering measures that will be helpful and to continue taking quick action.
|*||The Kokoro Hakobu Project (with "Kokoro Hakobu" meaning "to carry or deliver one's heart" in Japanese) has been the collective name of nationwide initiatives by Toyota, Toyota sales outlets in Japan, and their employees to provide continuous and long-term support to disaster-affected areas in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The name has the connotation of "carrying you in our hearts." Based on Toyota's desire to contribute in some way to people who have contracted and are suffering from COVID-19, as well as to the medical professionals, Japan's central government, and local governments in Japan fighting the disease night and day, Toyota has decided to apply "The Kokoro Hakobu Project" as its overall moniker for related support activities conducted by Toyota Group companies working together.|