Angkas, Joyride back in the streets

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    THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday allowed two motorcycle ride-hailing companies to resume operations in Metro Manila even as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains a national health emergency concern because of its high infection capacity.

    Angkas and Joyride riders can again pick up passengers from November 24 to December 9 while company officials prepare to provide a health insurance for both rider and passenger in case of accidents and use thermal scanners to accurately detect if either rider or passenger has fever, which are two requirements set by the National Task Force and the DOTr’s Motorcycle Taxi Technical Working Group (MC Taxi TWG).

    Goddes Libiran, DOTr assistant secretary, said that Angkas and Joyride have to submit proof of compliance with the requirements by December 9 if they want to continue their operations.

    Libiran said the DOTr will adopt the same scope, coverage, number of players and unit in the previous pilot study that ended abruptly last March. Their operation outside of Metro Manila, such as in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, remain suspended.

    The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has set to 45,000 the total rider cap for all motorcycle ride-hailing firms participating in the pilot run of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

    Libiran said the cap will continue to be imposed in the National Capital Region: Angkas with 23,164 riders; Joyride, 15,000 riders; and MoveIt, 6,836 riders.

    Meanwhile, the management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) yesterday said it recorded on Monday the highest number of ridership so far since it started its operation last July 1, 2020.

    According to its record, a total of 121,023 passengers were served on November 23, 2020, Monday. There were 22 train sets operational with 4.5 minutes passenger’s waiting interval.

    MTR-3 Director for Operations Engr. Michael Capati said the management has agreed to keep to 50kph the speed of its trains.

    Before the implementation of the new running speed of the MTRT-3 trains, the daily average ridership was at 90,000.

    CASH AID

    The LTFRB yesterday said it has already paid out P782 million in cash assistance to jeepney operators out of the P1.1billion allocated by Congress.

    LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra made the announcement over public briefing Laging Handa saying each PUJ operator received P6,500 as intended by lawmakers for the transport sector.

    “Each operator of a public utility vehicle stands to receive P6,500 to cover operating expenses because we acknowledge that the transport sector is one of the hardest hit by this pandemic as noted by Congress,” Delgra said, the P782 million was disbursed in just 10 days and the rest of the PUV operators including buses and UV Express will receive their cash subsidy within the month.

    He explained that to facilitate the payout of cash relief to the PUJ operators, the LTFRB deposited the stipend to the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) cards.

    “For the jeepney operators, we distributed via their PPP cards, we used that mechanism to deposit their subsidy of P6,500 each.)

    Delgra added that the LTFRB is also expanding the implementation of the service contracting program which was initially only eyed for launching in Manila, Cebu, and Davao.

    “We realize that there is a need for this service in other regions too so we are expanding the program. To name a few – we are eyeing Caraga, Region 10, 6 and 9, including Ilocos in Region 1,” he said.