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A Year End Editorial: Fate of Motorcycle Taxis After the Pilot Run Ends in March 2020

What will happen after the motorcycle-taxi pilot run ends in March 2020?

This is a bugging question not only for motorcycle-hailing companies, its riders, but also for the commuters as well.

We all know that the LTFRB and DOTr just released a statement that all motorcycle-taxi operators shall stop their operations after March 23, 2020. This is in compliance after the pilot test run has been finally implemented. Evaluations will pushed through according to the Technical Working Group (TWG) formed by DOTr after no extension to the pilot-run ends in March 2020.

The data collected by the TWG as of December 26, 2019 confirmed only 5,056 units are registered with Angkas (2,204), JoyRide (1,438), and Move It (1,414), collectively. This is short of the 10,000 units limit per ride-hailing company allowed amd imposed by TWG in Metro Manila alone. The limited number of motorcycle -taxi units will displaced 17,000 out of the 27,000 Angkas riders that the company currently employs.

Angkas vs LTFRB and DOTr

Angkas spokesperson George Royeca expressed disappointments over LTFRB and DOTr’s announcements saying all the 27,000 motorcycle bikers have been with Angkas, serving the public since 2017, and cutting the riders by 60% will leave 17,000 riders unemployed.

LTFRB hits back and released statements clarifying the issue and said that Angkas is using ’emotional blackmail’ and ‘underhanded tactics’ through the power of social media. LTFRB also accused Angkas of attempting to monopolize the country’s motorcycle ride-hailing industry.

Opening slots for JoyRide and Move It to the competition seems to be a good alternative to prevent monopolizing the industry but this move was even denounced by more than half of the commuting passengers in the metro. Speculations grew that JoyRide is a government backed company and its initial operations were doubtful and questionable. Netizens wonder how JoyRide immediately got favorable reviews on social media since it started few days only after it’s launched.

Going back to the question, “what will happen after the pilot test run ends in March 2020?”

Maybe, just maybe, LTFRB and DOTr might strictly implement the “no extensions to motorcycle taxis operations” once the pilot run concludes, but this doesn’t mean that riders would eventually stop rallying against this policy. If no extensions shall be put into place, this will not only affect Angkas but also other motorcycle ride-hailing companies who joined the pilot-run.

We have to hear them out also if they are in favor or not of this no extension policy. If they’re not, Angkas will have an ally to their cause. But if they are in favor of this policy, then the public needs to know why.

Casualties of this policy are the public commuters who rely to motorcycle taxis to get to their destinations, faster and at a more affordable cost. Traffic on the road is the major culprit why many commuters find Angkas a better and a suitable transportation for them. Until the worsening traffic conditions are healed, then people will always find ways to spare them from getting stalled and waste a lot of precious time in traffic.

We have light rail trains, public buses and P2Ps, metered taxis, and Grab, but these too, have been a pain in the ass of the working and commuting masses. For so many unfortunate reasons, I know you already knew. That is why the best transport option these days are motorcycle-taxis. Even celebrities and other well-known personalities have already avail the services of motorcycle taxis.

2020: A Bleak or Brighter New Year for Motorcycle Taxis?

March 2020 is just three months away, and anything can happen before the 23rd. Who knows, LTFRB, DOTr , and probably Angkas might enter into new terms which will be both favorable to everybody. A pilot-run extension could still take place if other ride-hailing companies will push for it.

As for the rest of the 60% would-be displaced Angkas riders, allowing them to transfer to JoyRide or Move It could save them from not having a job or let them be, unemployed.

As for JoyRide, Move It, and future ride-hailing companies, it’ll be your good contributions not to turn your backs should displaced Angkas riders come knocking on your doors.

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