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.