Congress asked to look into extension of pilot test of motorcycle taxis

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    Commuter groups yesterday urged Congress to look into the proposed extension of the pilot test of motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

    In a two-page petition filed at the Senate, Lawyers for Commuter Safety and Protection (LCSP), Transport Watch, Move Metro Manila, KOMYUT and Legal Engagement Advocating for Development and Reform sought for the conduct of hearings at the Senate and at the House of Representatives to update the riding public and other shareholders on the discussions and concessions made by technical working group (TWG) formed to look into the operations of motorcycle taxis.

    “The public hearing will be a positive step towards legislatively addressing the issue of motorcycle taxis, will address questions of transparency in the processes and will provide information to the public of the planned expansion of the pilot currently being run by the DOTr (Department of Transportation),” the groups said.

    The multi-stakeholder TWG — composed of representatives from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic, consumer, advocacy and other shareholders — was first convened in December 2018.

    “The consumer, advocacy groups and other shareholders were excluded from decision making. This prompted us to ask for updates from those who were present and pleaded that the complete TWG be convened in the future,” the commuter groups said.

    “The TWG has made major decisions and even allowed the expansion of the pilot program to other motorcycle taxi applications without genuine consultation. These are decisions that should not be kept from public,” they added.

    The TWG was tasked to ensure efficiency in the pilot implementation and present the final report to the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Last week, the TWG decided to extend the pilot period for another six months and allowed the inclusion of other motorcycle taxi companies in the pilot program.

    The DOTr said this would provide the TWG more time to widen the scope of their study on appropriate standards and capacities for motorcycles to be considered safe, convenient, and eligible for franchise.

    The DOTr said it heard proposals last November from six motorcycle taxi companies namely Citimuber, JoyRide, MoveIt, EsetGo, Sakay, and VroomGo, all aspiring to participate in the pilot run being considered.

    The pilot test of the lone motorcycle ride-hailing app Angkas, which will end December 26, will also be extended for another six months.