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More TNCs, more bikers in extended motorcycle taxi pilot run

THE pilot implementation of motorcycle taxi (habal-habal) operations has been extended until March 23, 2020, with two more companies allowed to participate in the program aside from Angkas to prevent a monopoly.

The inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on Motorcycle Taxis approved the participation of JoyRide and Move It “after careful evaluation, inspection, and validation” of their overall operational readiness.

Angkas, JoyRide and Move It will now divide among themselves the overall allotted cap of 39,000 registered bikers, or 12,000 more than the 27,000 Angkas bikers who participated in the program from June to December 2019.

The three transport network companies (TNC) were allotted 10,000 bikers each for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers each for Metro Cebu.

This decision did not sit well with Angkas, which claimed on Saturday, December 21, that 17,000 of its bikers will lose jobs during the extended pilot run from December 23, 2019 to March 23, 2020.

Under the extended pilot run, however, Angkas is allotted 13,000 riders, which means that 14,000, not 17,000, of its 27,000 riders under the program would no longer be allowed to legally provide motorcycle taxi services.

Angkas called for support for a “#SaveAngkas unity gathering” on Sunday, December 22, 2019, at the Edsa Kalayaan Shrine in Metro Manila.

Angkas was the sole TNC allowed by the government to offer motorcycle taxi operations from June to December 2019.

Related story: DOTr, Angkas to pilot motorcycle taxi operations in Manila, Cebu

The pilot run, which is part of a study on the viability of motorcycles as public transport vehicles, was supposed to end on December 26, 2019.

Under Section 7 of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, or Republic Act 4136, “motorcycles, scooters or motor wheel attachments shall not be used for hire under any circumstances and shall not be used to solicit, accept, or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay."

The Department of Transportation formed a TWG in December 2018 to study the safety and viability of motorcycle taxis following a Supreme Court ruling that stopped Angkas operations.

Results of the pilot implementation will be the basis for a legislative measure that will seek to legalize motorcycle taxis.

JoyRide and Move It were selected from among six companies that sought to participate in the pilot implementation.

Of the six companies that submitted proposals, the TWG said four were considered, evaluated, and inspected in terms of company profile, operational plans, facilities and equipment. Eventually, JoyRide and Move It were chosen. (Ventures Cebu)

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