MC Taxi Pilot Study to Continue, Now with Increased Rider Cap, Expanded Coverage
After discussions with participating motorcycle transport network companies (TNCs) and stakeholders, the Motorcycle Taxi Service Inter-Agency Technical Working Group (TWG), has decided to push through with pilot study. This as they have also decided to increase the rider cap and widen the coverage area. The announcement was made at the House Committee on Transportation hearing on Wednesday. Present in the hearing were members of the house panel; the TWG, headed by Chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr.; and representatives from the three motorcycle ride-hailing services, Angkas, Move It, and JoyRide. During the session, several agreements were identified for implementation of the Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Study. First, the rider cap for the study will be increased to 63,000. The three motorcycle transport network companies (TNCs) participating in the study will each have 15,000 riders for their Metro Manila operations under the new cap; 9,000 for their operations in Metro Cebu; and an additional 9,000 for Cagayan de Oro City, the new coverage area for motorcycle taxis operations. However, should a TNC fails to fill-up its alloted number of riders under the cap, the other players can have the available slots. The House Committee on Transportation also announced the continuous formation of the TWG in the 3-month extension of the motorcycle-taxi pilot study, which will run until 23 March 2020. Further, Angkas has agreed to drop all court cases it had filed against the TWG. Angkas had filed the cases against the TWG as it questioned the Revised Guidelines issued by the TWG to limit its rider cap. As penalty, Angkas has committed to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade that it will be aiding victims of the Taal Volcano eruption. Prior to the hearing at the Lower Congress, Tugade and representatives from the three motorcycle TNCs met to discuss the various issues following the implementation of the pilot study, after the TWG had announced that it is recommending the termination of the study. “We all come here today to agree to stand together in a platform of unity, mutual support and cooperation for the interest of the riding public, as a manifestation of our full trust and confidence to the Duterte administration, " Tugade said. We need to understand that if we go against each other, and if we do not cooperate, people who have malicious intentions and questionable agenda will be feasting on us. Let us show them that we can join hands— that we can cooperate and agree,” he added. For his part, Gardiola also assured of cooperation between the government and the participating motorcycle TNCs in the conduct of the pilot study. “Our foremost concern and should also be the stakeholders’ utmost priority is the safety and protection of public interest. Let us now close the book of animosity and work together to serve the people we care about,” Gardiola said.