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Angkas to start 6-month pilot run

Angkas to start 6-month pilot run

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Motorcycle ride-hailing company Angkas is planning to begin its six-month pilot run by the end of June as it trains drivers to ensure road safety and improve services for its patrons.

“Hopefully, we can start by third week or last week of June because we promised the public that June will be the pilot,” said Angkas regulatory and public affairs chief George Royeca on Thursday.

“The purpose of the pilot is really to assess the different safety guidelines. This is ongoing even as we continue our operations. So if there are safety guidelines that need to be tweaked in the middle of the operation of the pilot, we will tweak it,” Royeca added.

In May, the Department of Transportation approved the pilot implementation of motorcycle taxi operations for six months in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

The pilot run aims to assess the safety level of motorcycle taxis as recommended by a technical working group created by the DOTr to study the issue of legalizing motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

Angkas will retrain its 27,000 accredited biker-partners through rigorous riding skills assessments, written tests, and extensive safety training to ensure they meet very high safety standards in preparation for the pilot operation. It intends to train 2,000 drivers a day.

“At present, we have retrained 12,000 drivers so we still need to train 15,000 more to fully train the 27,000 before we can launch the pilot,” said Angkas operations head David Medrana.

Angkas will provide special reflectorized vests with side straps to help bikers become more visible at night and aid passengers in holding on to the biker’s waist. Each vest has the biker’s unique ID number ensuring that only officially registered bikers can take ride bookings.

All Angkas biker-partners and their passengers are also insured for every ride.

The Angkas mobile app has a feedback mechanism to closely monitor the performance of drivers and swiftly address passenger complaints and suggestions.

Royeca said he hoped Congress would pass a law to legalize motorcycle taxis after the six-month pilot run.

“I think even before the six months are over, we hope to refile the bill in Congress. We hope to have a very healthy dialogue with the Committee on Public Services in the Senate and the Committee on Transportation in the House of Representatives so that we can update them on a regular basis on the operations of the pilot program,” Royeca said.

Angkas assured passengers that it would not impose fare increases amid the implementation of its safety features.

Motorcycle taxes can charge a fare of P50 for the first two kilometers, an additional P10 per kilometer until seven kilometers, an additional P15 for succeeding kilometers, and a surge rate cap of 1.5x in Metro Manila, according to DOTr guidelines.

In Metro Cebu, the initial charge will be P20 for the first kilometer. For every kilometer up to eight kilometers, passengers must add P20, and an additional P20 per kilometer for destinations beyond eight kilometers.

Currently, motorcycles are prohibited from operating as public transport services under Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation Code.

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