DOTr allows motorcycle ride-hailing firm Angkas to legally operate

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2019   •   1542

MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle ride-hailing company Angkas may now operate legally in the country beginning next month, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Friday.

After months of public clamor, motorcycle taxis can start picking up passengers again without fear of apprehension.

In a statement, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he had approved the pilot operations of motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu from June until the end of 2019.

“Inaasahang magsisimula ang pilot implementation ng motorcycle taxi operations, katuwang ang ride-hailing service na Angkas, sa unang bahagi ng Hunyo o isang buwan matapos lagdaan ni Secretary Tugade ang General Guidelines sa pilot implementation, at kasunod ng pagpapatupad ng naaayong public awareness campaign,” he said.

However, Tugade clarified that the operation is just a test run for six months to help lawmakers finalize proposals on motorcycle ride booking.

“Importante ang pilot implementation na ito upang ma-refine pa natin ang general guidelines, at masilip ang mga posibleng problema sa proseso o sa standards, nang sa gayon ay makatulong tayo sa pagbabalangkas ng batas na talagang akma sa mga pangangailangan at kaligtasan ng ating mga commuter,” Tugade said.

He also reminded motorcycle taxi drivers to follow safety requirements, like wearing helmet and reflectorized vest; observing the 60-kilometer per hour speed limit and maintenance of motorcycle’s condition.

Mariin naming binabalaan ang mga ride-hailing servicena sumunod sa safety requirements sa kanilang operasyon. Huwag ninyong sayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob namin sa inyo sa pagbibigay ng serbisyo publiko sa mga commuter,” Tugade said.

The management of Angkas and its over 27,000 motorcycle units have welcomed the good news.

“We are very happy that Secretary Tugade is looking into this… We will definitely provide all the necessary updates on the application and also on the information campaign to the public,” said George Royeca, the head of Angkas regulatory and public affairs.

Angkas’ operation was suspended in November 2017 by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for operating without business permit and violating the land transportation and traffic code.

Angkas challenged the suspension order before the Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court, which issued a preliminary injunction against the order in September 2018.

After it resumed operations, the Supreme Court issued in December a temporary restraining order against Mandaluyong court ruling, suspending Angkas’ operations. (with details from Joan Nano)

First set of Dalian trains to hit MRT-3 tracks Tuesday

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

The third set of MRT-3 trains that were purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian

MANILA, Philippines – The first set of China-made Dalian trains will be deployed at the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Tuesday night, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

“Starting today, 15 October 2019, one Dalian train set (equivalent to three train coaches) will hit the tracks of MRT-3 mainline during evening off-peak hours, from 8:30PM to 10:30PM,” the DOTr said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The DOTr said this development comes after MRT-3’s Japanese maintenance provider, Sumitomo Corporation-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – TES Philippines signed a consent for the limited deployment on one Dalian train set.

The said consent, according to the DOTr, indicates that the train set will be deployed for an initial trial period until the maintenance provider begins its rail replacement works in November 2019.

“Currently, three Dalian train (9 train coaches) sets have already completed the necessary commissioning and validation tests including the 150-hour run. Each Dalian train set has a three-car configuration that can carry 1,050 passengers per trip,” the DOTr said.

Each train set can carry up to 1,050 passengers.

Around 48 Dalian trains were purchased by the Aquino administration for P3.8 billion but most of it have not been used over doubts of its compatibility with the current MRT tracks.

Its deployment was delayed as the MRT-3 management had to wait for the consent of Sumitomo Corp. which maintains and rehabilitates the line.

Angkas operation to be expanded nationwide

Maris Federez   •   October 4, 2019

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

Poe wants P27M fund for road safety programs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 3, 2019

Senator Grace Poe ( EPA/MARK R. CRISTINO)

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday said she would move for the reinstatement of the P27-million fund for road safety programs, logistics, and equipment during the 2020 budget hearing of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

During the hearing of the Senate committee on public services on bills seeking to declare every third week of November as World Day of Remembrance for road crash victims, Transportation Undersecretary Mark Richmund de Leon revealed that the 2020 DOTr budget has no appropriation for road safety programs.

He said the road safety fund was lodged in the motor vehicle users’ charge that was modified last year.

“Unfortunately, ni piso, walang pondo (for road safety),” he said.

Poe, who chairs the committee, lamented the absence of the road safety fund and vowed to push for its allocation to purchase breathalyzers which are used to test the alcohol level of motorists.

“It has to be funded, it has to be a priority kasi prevention and safety are paramount in the transportation system that we have…Tingin ko naman, magagawan ng paraan kasi buhay ang poprotektahan,” Poe said in a separate interview.

In the same hearing, families of victims of car crash told the panel that a number of cases involving vehicular accidents have been dismissed due to lack of evidence such as proof that the driver was drunk because there was no test conducted.

“‘Yung ‘pag test kung lasing ang isang driver, kasama ‘yan sa road safety, pati ‘yung drivers’ education, at iba pang programa, kaya nga diumano mga P27 million ang budget na kailangan nila rito. Bukas, magkakaroon ng pagdinig ng DOTr para sa budget, gusto ko sanang ma-reinstate ang programa na ito,” Poe said.

Meanwhile, Poe also presided over the committee’s third technical working group which seeks to formulate a transportation master plan to alleviate the plight of commuters and motorists.

The senator said that the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the project list drafted in 2014 containing priority infrastructures is still being updated and completed.

The list that will come from various implementing government agencies will form the Roadmap 2.

Poe also said that NEDA reported another plan called the Philippine Transportation System Master Plan that would include projects outside the Greater Capital Region.

The plan is still being drafted and is expected to be completed in December.

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