Angkas stops imposing surge fees

    Limited supply. Angkas charged as much as two times surge fees due to insufficient supply of drivers.
    Limited supply. Angkas charged as much as two times surge fees due to insufficient supply of drivers.

    DBDOYC Inc., operator of app-based motorcycle taxi service provider Angkas, yesterday said it has stopped implementing its 1.5 times “surge price” in compliance with government directives.

    “We will comply with the regulators in taking out the surge price,” George Royeca, chief transport advocate and majority owner of Angkas, said in a press briefing in Makati.

    Angkas said its current fare matrix was designed to meet a specific passenger need. It charges a base fare of P50 for the first two kilometers (km.), then an additional P10 per km. for up to 7 km. travel distance and an additional P15 per km. for 7 km. and above travel distance, plus 1.5 times surge.

    Royeca explained Angkas imposed the 1.5 up to 2 times dynamic pricing or surge price due to insufficient supply of drivers prior to the pilot test, to meet the huge passenger demand.

    “We tried dynamic pricing up to 2X (similar to cars) but this resulted in significant complaints,” Royeca said.

    After increasing the supply to 27,000 bikers during the first six-month pilot run, Angkas said its pricing dropped to 1.3-1.5X during peaks resulting in a more optimal balance.

    However, Angkas is asking the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for a transition period to comply with the new guidelines set by the Technical Working Group (TWG) that do not allow a surge price.

    “We are not asking for special favor. We really hope that there is a transition period on how we can transition our fleet to the new guidelines. We will be complying on the surge pricing as directed by the DOTr,” Royeca said.

    Angkas was also asked to comment on the DOTr’s statement tt the company will likely be blacklisted in the motorcycle taxi operation due to several violations, such as operating beyond Metro Manila and Metro Cebu and imposing a surge price.

    Royeca said Angkas will continue to work with government regulators and not against them, even as he expressed hope the riders’ cap will be lifted so all stakeholders can proceed with the extended pilot run smoothly and without any hitches.

    Royeca pointed out Angkas has worked hard to comply with the rules the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the DOTR’s TWG had set in the first motorcycle taxi test run.

    “For six whole months last year, there was never any problem. It must be noted that we complied with everything that the TWG asked us to do in the initial test run. We did a retraining of all our riders. We gave our riders safety vests based on the recommendation of the TWG. We are continuously complying to the best of our abilities with the new pilot guidelines,” he said.

    Royeca also said he is not against competition in the motorcycle taxi industry.

    When it was reported that the LTFRB will extend the pilot run this time with new players, Royeca told the media he is fine with the inclusion of new players in the test run extension.

    “This means that people have begun to realize the importance of motorcycle taxis in helping our commuters beat the daily traffic,” he noted.

    Royeca said at the briefing a total of 117,166 bikers applied with Angkas. Of that number, 36,797 bikers were onboarded. However, only 26,478 were retrained and activated for the first pilot run and 10,378 were deactivated.