Pilot run only to aid legislation

After the Motorcycle Taxi (MC Taxi) Pilot Run ends, MC Taxi firms will have to wait for legislation that legalizes their operations before they may continue to operate.

This was shared by MC Taxi Technical Working Group (TWG) chair and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) member, Retired P/Maj. Gen. Antonio B. Gardiola Jr.

The “Motorcycle Ride-Hailing Service is still under government study as to its feasibility and propriety as a public transportation option,” Gardiola said in an official statement. The MC Taxi firms currently operating “still do not have an official transport franchise. We are extending the Pilot Run as we deem it necessary to give us the opportunity to fully assess the program and how best it will serve the commuter.”

Just before the holidays, the TWG had extended the duration of the MC taxi pilot implementation scheme from December 23, 2019 to March 23, 2020. Before this, a six-month pilot run program was approved, allowing Angkas to operate since June 2019. The TWG explains it was done to “fully assess the program and how best it will serve the commuter.”

After Pilot Run, MC Taxi firms need law to operate image

The TWG explains that “the Motorcycle Taxi Program is still a transportation concept being thoroughly tested and assessed for its long-term viability and adaptability in our public transportation sphere… We are extending the Pilot Run and introducing tweaks and system changes, including the addition of new service providers, to better equip us with a full understanding of the impact of the program to all stakeholders, most especially to the commuter, and how it will be a better and safe public transportation alternative.”

“An integral part of the Pilot Run extension will be the development of a registration and feedback mechanism to establish commuter buy-in and acceptability of the program, as well gauging the overall ride experience,” the statement continues. “There is also a need to adopt an audit system which will institute performance and regulatory compliance metrics for the service providers.”

All these metrics are being assessed during the Pilot Run program in order to generate a report on the viability of motorcycle taxis, which will then be submitted to lawmakers to aid in the creation of a bill legalizing their operations.

After Pilot Run, MC Taxi firms need law to operate image

Less or more?

While the extension of the Pilot Run program for MC Taxis is welcome news, Angkas had made vocal its displeasure over the new allotment cap on riders. For the extensions, each MC Taxi operator (Angkas, Move-It, and JoyRide) will be allowed 10,000 riders each in Metro Manila and another an additional 3,000 riders each for operations in Cebu. The total amounts to 39,000 riders nationwide.

Angkas claimed it has 27,000 riders in total, nationwide, with some 17,000 that may potentially be forced to move to another provider as a result of the new allotment cap.

However, in response to this, the MC Taxi TWG has released the actual number of authorized drivers submitted by the service providers, as of 9:00 a.m. of December 26, 2019, which puts Angkas riders at 2,204; Joy Ride at 1,438; and Move-It at 1,414.

The MC Taxi TWG has stressed the need for the operators to fully register and declare the names and number of contracted riders by the service providers.

After Pilot Run, MC Taxi firms need law to operate image

Outside control area

The TWG also reiterated some of the basic guidelines set for the Pilot Run, which establishes control areas for the program as Metro Manila and Metro Cebu only.

The TWG said it has received reports from the field and various social media accounts of the availability and proliferation of Angkas services in regions outside of the control area.

The TWG is currently seeking an explanation from Angkas over its breach of guidelines by operating outside NCR and Metro Cebu or it will impose sanctions.