DOTR’s TWG extends motorcycle taxi’s pilot run with 2 new players

Robie de Guzman   •   December 20, 2019   •   370

MANILA, Philippines – The inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday announced it has decided to extend the pilot implementation of motorcycle-ride hailing services in the country.

In a statement, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced the pilot run extension with the inclusion of two new players – JoyRide and Move It.

The LTFRB said the decision was reached during the TWG’s meeting on Friday with the shortlisted providers for the extension of motorcycle taxis pilot implementation.

The announcement follows weeks of deliberations involving the LTFRB and the DOTr, among others.

JoyRide and Move It will join Angkas in the extended pilot implementation starting December 23, 2019, up to March 23, 2020.

The agency said an overall cap of 39,000 registered bikers will be allotted for all three motorcycle-ride providers during the extension.

In particular, each ride-hailing service will be given 10,000 bikers for Metro Manila operations and 3,000 bikers for Metro Cebu operations.

At least six motorcycle-ride hailing firms submitted proposals to the TWG to participate in the pilot run, including JoyRide, Move it, Citimuber, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo.

However, only JoyRide and Move It passed the TWG’s evaluation and inspection in terms of company profile, operational plans, facilities, and equipment as basis of their compliance.

The inter-agency group earlier recommended a six-month extension for the pilot run which was initially set to end on December 26.

PNR rolls out 2 new trains for Tutuban-Alabang route

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Thursday deployed its two new trains to operate in Tutuban-Alabang route after its send-off ceremony and class assignment.

According to PNR general manager Junn Magno, the new trainsets which are part of the 8100 series of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) consist of four cars each and can carry up to 1,000 passengers per trip.

The train sets, which were acquired from Indonesian company PT Inka, are equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, air conditioning units, and handrails for increased passenger capacity and safety.

The trains also feature poly-carbonate windows capable of withstanding moderate damage caused by thrown rocks, and automatic safety doors equipped with a sensory feature that will easily open should someone or something is caught in between.

With the new trains, the Tutuban-Alabang route will now have a total of five trains.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, assured that PNR fare rates will not increase despite the deployment of new trainsets.

He also called on the public to be alert and immediately report any stone-throwing incident targeting PNR train units.

“Gusto nating manatiling matagal ang paggamit ng ating mga tren kailangan yung kooperasyon ng lahat gamitin ng tama huwag gumawa ng perwisyo, wag maging pasaway,” he said.

Magno said these train sets are part of the 37 railcars and three locomotives procured by the PNR which are expected to be completely delivered in the coming months.

“Hahabulin po natin na by the end of 2020, we should have enough capacity to serve the southern and part of the northern. Bubuksan na rin po natin yung Valenzuela line para ma-off load rin natin ang EDSA,” he said.

The PNR earlier deployed two other new trains to operate in Tutuban-FTI route in Taguig.

Once the delivery of new train sets is completed, PNR’s current 20,000 passenger capacity is expected to increase to 92,000, inching closer to its target of 200,000 daily passengers in the region. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Recto confident Duterte will support motorcycle taxi bill

Robie de Guzman   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto has expressed confidence that President Rodrigo Duterte will sign into law the proposed Motorcycle Taxi Bill, which seeks to lift the 56-year ban on two-wheelers as a public utility vehicle (PUV).

In his speech sponsoring Senate Bill No. 1341 Tuesday — which proposes to legalize motorcycle taxis such as Angkas, JoyRide and MoveIt — Recto referred to Duterte’s fondness for motorcycles, saying this had shown the motorbike as a safe ride.

“The motorbike is the ride of choice of the President,” he said.

“So, what is good for the president must be good for the ordinary citizen,” he added, before laying down the stringent conditions on how to make for-hire motorcycles “safe for the driver, for the passenger, and for the other vehicles on the road.”

The measure seeks to amend Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Tariff Code, which prohibits the use of motorcycles as public transport.

The proposal defines motorcycles-for-hire as any two-wheeled motor vehicle registered with the Land Transportation Office, which transports passengers and goods on a for-hire basis, and which may utilize online ride-hailing or pre-arranged transportation platforms.

The bill states that the motorcycle should weigh less than 1,000 kilograms, can travel faster than 50 kilometers per hour, has a minimum engine displacement of 125 cubic centimeters, and a backbone-type built.

Along with the vehicle registration, the motorcycles for hire will also be required to secure a certificate of public convenience or a special permit issued by the LTFRB.

The measure also states that motorcycle taxis fall under a classification of public utility automobiles along with public utility trucks, taxis and auto-calesas, garage automobiles, hire trucks and trucks owned by contractor and customs brokers and customs agents.

Recto urged his fellow legislators to pass the bill.

The Senate committees on public services and the local government earlier approved a committee report allowing the use of motorcycle taxis as a form of public transport in the country.

Duterte inaugurates Sangley Airport in Cavite

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the Sangley Airport in Cavite on Saturday (February 15) which aims to ease the air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The Sangley Airport Development Project is under the Duterte Administration’s Build Build Build Program. Small commercial flights and light cargo aircraft are already operational since Saturday.

In his speech, President Duterte commended Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for successfully completing the development project.

The President also said he will use Sangley Airport when he goes back to Davao after finishing his term.

“I will take my last flight as President to Davao. I will use this airport,” he said.

Once the project is completed, Sangley Airport will have four operational runways and a terminal which can accommodate 100 million passengers every year.—AAC (with reports from Benedict Samson)

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