‘Develop the pilot motorcycle taxi program in PH’

The government is expected to allow at least four motorbike taxi companies, not just two, to participate in its pilot program, as the Philippines transitions into a “new normal” that could once again see high demand for public transport.

“As we reopen the economy, we will need public transport. The land sector – rail, buses, jeepneys – is not yet ready for a surge in demand from commuters,” said Representative Edgar Sarmiento , chairman of the House Transportation Committee, in a radio interview.

Sarmiento said he would ask the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to explain why only two companies – Angkas and JoyRide – are currently participating in his motorcycle taxi pilot program. A third player, Move It, has too insignificant a footprint in the company to count.

There should be at least four players on the program so commuters have more choice, he said. He said trains, buses and jeepneys are still limited to occupying only 70% of their seats.

“That means 30% are dislocated. How are they going to move? As we reopen the economy, everyone needs to be ready, including two-wheelers, motorcycle taxis,” he said.

There are now over 7 million motorcycles across the Philippines compared to just 3.5 million in 2010.

Sarmiento said just a fraction of that number would be more than enough to meet the needs of the traveling public.

Sarmiento is the lead author of House Bill 10572, which seeks to legalize and regulate the operations of companies providing motorcycle rental services.

Once it becomes law, the bill will allow all qualified businesses that employ motorcyclists through ride-sharing apps to transport passengers or deliver food, parcels and mail to obtain a government franchise. .

The bill, which is a consolidation of 18 other proposals, has already passed third reading.

But progress has been stalled in the Senate, which is working on a different version that may require consolidation by a bicameral conference committee.

But discussions on the Senate bill are stalled.

Sarmiento said he remains hopeful that President Rodrigo Duterte can sign the motorcycle taxi law before stepping down this year.

The law will replace the LTFRB pilot program.

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