By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
Transport regulators have extended the pilot run of motorcycle-taxis for at least three months with two new Filipino-owned app-based players participating in the dry run until next year.
This came after the inter-agency Technical Working Group (TWG) on motorcycle-taxis concluded on Friday a meeting with the shortlisted providers for the extension of the pilot implementation.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) sent a notice of selection on Wednesday to the new players that made the cut in the pilot implementation that presented before the TWG.
Out of the six applications from bike-hailing services received by LTFRB, motorcycle-taxi services firms JoyRide and Move It were selected and will join bike-hailing app Angkas in the pilot run beginning December 23.
Currently, only Angkas is authorized to undergo Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) pilot test run which could pave the way for the legalization of motorcycle-taxis in the country.
The three motorcycle-taxis will participate in the extended pilot implementation beginning December 23 until March 23 next year.
The initial pilot implementation, which started in June this year, was supposed to end on December 26.
The LTFRB has allotted an overall cap of 39,000 registered bikers — or at least 10,000 bikers per transport network company for Metro Manila, and 3,000 bikers per TNC for Metro Cebu operations.
During the meeting on Friday, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra expressed his gratitude to the three ride-hailing firms and recognized their preparations for the upcoming extended pilot run.
“I’ve seen a lot of preparations, your investment as it is not only on infrastructure but also on human resource. Whatever inputs that we are going to give to the Congress, it would be valuable enough for Congress to consider the legalization of motorcycle taxis,” Delgra said.
“Do good in your three months so that you can still operate in the next three months and for the next years to come,” he added.
Meanwhile, JoyRide Vice President for Corporate Affairs Noli Eala said that the firm was all geared up for the extended dry run.
“Talagang naginvest ang JoyRide (JoyRide really invested) for the day that we might be allowed to be onboarded. We are very ready we have in store in our factory of more than 7,000 helmets, uniforms and vests that were ready to be manufactured for those who we started to onboard,” Eala said.
In his presentation during the meeting, Eala boasted that JoyRide does not have a price surge in its fare unlike other app-based motorcycle taxi services.
The initial fare for a motorbike ride in JoyRide is P50 for the first two kilometers, and an additional P10 per succeeding kilometer.
Eala also discussed the company’s safety protocol, mobile app security, fare matrix, insurance provider and coverage before the representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Department of Transportation (DOTr) and InterAgency Council for Traffic (i-ACT).
According to the LTFRB, the pilot project implementation’s purpose is to “determine whether or not motorcycles are safe, secure and viable mode of public transportation, and not its economic benefits.”
The result of the pilot run will determine whether it will be given the approval to continue to officially operate motorcycle taxi in the country.