Angkas operation to be expanded nationwide

Maris Federez   •   October 4, 2019   •   709

With the worsening traffic condition in Metro Manila, motorcycle taxi service such as Angkas has become a catchword among commuters.

For some passengers, riding a motorcycle taxi is way better than riding a transport network vehicle service (TNVS) that still get stuck in traffic.

They say it is safer, faster and convenient — and the riders are professional.

Angkas Operations and Public Affairs head, George Ortega, said that based on their monitoring, their passengers have increased in the past weeks.

“Especially now that it’s going into the BER months. So it’s really traffic going into nearing December so it’s really more people are trying it out,” he said.

To date, Angkas has 27,000 member riders in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

The motorcycle taxi riding service is now under the 6-month trial run which will end in December.

The result of the trial will determine whether it will be given the approval to continue to officially operate.

And this early, Angkas is already planning its expansion nationwide once its operation is legalized.

It is targeting to extend service in Davao City, in Cagayan de Oro City, and in Batangas.

“Traffic is not exclusive in Metro Manila. It’s not just a Metro Manila problem. It’s a problem for every city progressing. Every successful city will experience congestion at some point in time,” Ortega said. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

DOTr’s TWG eyes 6-month extension of motorcycle taxis’ pilot implementation

Robie de Guzman   •   December 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to extend for six months the pilot run of motorcycle ride-hailing services in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DOTr said this is to allow the participation of new players in the study of the viability of motorcycles as a safe mode of public transportation.

The department said it has heard proposals on November 20 from six motorcycle taxi companies, namely, Citimuber, JoyRide, MoveIt, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo, which are all aspiring to participate in the pilot run.

“We want to determine their operational readiness and compliance,” Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member Antonio Gardiola Jr. said.

Gardiola, who heads the TWG, said the extension is seen as an expansion of the study and giving the riding public a wider choice, and “thus push the multiple providers to ensure a higher standard of service.”

He added that the pilot run extension also aims to provide the TWG more time to widen the scope of their study on appropriate standards and capacities for motorcycles to be considered safe, convenient, and eligible for franchise.

The TWG is composed of members that include representatives from the DOTr, LTFRB, Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic.

“We also want to determine whether or not motorcycles are really a safe and viable form of public transportation. That is always our priority — the safety, security, and comfort of the riding public,” Gardiola further stated.

In May, the DOTr allowed ride-hailing service Angkas to operate for six months as motorcycle taxi for six months starting June.

The pilot run was approved in aid of legislation for both the House of Representatives and the Senate to evaluate pending bills pushing for the legalization of motorcycles as public utility vehicles, as well as amendment of existing laws such as Republic Act No. 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The TWG said it has already submitted its recommendation, and a decision on the proposed extension will be released in the coming days.

Lawmaker pushes to legalize ‘habal-habal’ ops amid Metro Manila traffic woes

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A lawmaker is pushing to make the operations of “habal-habal”, or motorcycle-for-hire, legal amid worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila.

In filing Senate Bill No. 1025 or Motorcycles-for-hire Act, Senator Sonny Angara proposes to classify motorcycles-for-hire as public transportation, amending Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

The code only allows the registration of motorcycles for either private or government and prohibits its listing as a vehicle for hire.

Under the proposed amendment, Angara wants motorcycles to be registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) as ‘for hire’ and may be used as a commercial vehicle to transport passengers and goods.

Angara’s proposal comes after the Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) implemented partial operations while it is repairing its power rectifiers that were damaged after it caught fire early this month.

“Commuting in Metro Manila has become very challenging. A typical commuter has to allocate at least two hours to get to work or school and that is if their regular modes of transport are available. What if the MRT breaks down? Kulang pa ang dalawang oras mo sa byahe,” he said in a statement.

“Tulad nitong nangyari sa LRT-2 na nasunog. Libo libong Pilipino ang naperwisyo nito at karamihan sa kanila ay habal na ang sinasakyan para mas mabilis makarating sa destinasyon nila at mas mura din ito kumpara sa Grab,” he added.

According to Angara, the heavy traffic and glitches in mass transit systems in Metro Manila have forced some commuters to look for other transportation options such as hiring commercial motorcycles even if it is considered illegal under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.

“The demand for this service simply cannot be ignored, which is why I have filed a bill seeking to legalize the operation of motorcycles-for-hire,” he said.

Angara cited the case of motorcycle ride-hailing service Angkas, which was recently allowed to operate for six months as part of a pilot-run of ‘motorcycle taxis.

The Department of Transportation earlier said this is to help lawmakers finalize proposals on motorcycle ride booking.

Under the bill, a motorcycle may register for transporting passengers if it has a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters and a backbone-type built.

The LTO will be tasked to ensure the roadworthiness of motorcycles-for-hire before they are registered.

To further ensure their safety, no modifications on the motorcycles will be allowed, except for the installation, based on safe engineering design specifications, of motorcycle luggage carriers, saddlebags, step boards or footpegs and appropriate speed limiter and monitoring device.

QC gov’t rids Cubao area of dirt, stench

Maris Federez   •   August 12, 2019

The Quezon City Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management on Monday (August 12) conducted a clean-up drive on the sidewalks within Cubao area.

The group cleaned up not just the obvious obstructions on the streets but also the filth and foul smell in the area.

Barangay E. Rodriguez fire brigade sprayed water on the sidewalks along Aurora Blvd. up to EDSA.

“Sobra po kasing mabaho diyan, mapanghi. Yung mga dumadaan po, sila rin po ang umiihi diyan, [the stench of urine is too strong. The passersby are the ones urinating here],” a resident in the area said.

The team did not stop until the area is free of stench.

They also confiscated the merchandise of illegal vendors that cause inconvenience to pedestrians.

QC traffic czar Atty. Ariel Inton noted the disorderly parking spaces of establishments in the area that cause traffic congestion along Aurora Blvd.

“Sa isang pag-aaral namin, itong Aurora Boulevard, walang loading and unloading zone ng mga jeepney. Tapos ‘tong mga naka-park na sasakyan, imagine how many are those parked along Aurora na labas pasok; at bawat labas pasok sa kitid ng Aurora, eh babarahan mo ‘yan [As we noted, Aurora Blvd has no loading and unloading zones for jeepneys. And these vehicles parked here, imagine how many are those parked along Aurora. They cause congestion],” Inton said.

Because of this, the QC local government has vowed to strictly implement the laws pertaining to cleanliness and orderliness in the city.

Atty. Inton hopes that this will serve as a warning to the public to abide by the laws and help in maintaining the city clean. (with reports from Asher Cadapan) /mbmf

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