TWG sets 15,000-biker cap for motorcycle taxi firms
Richmond Mercurio, Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Each motorcycle taxi service provider has been allowed to operate a maximum of 15,000 units in Metro Manila by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) during the pilot run, the technical working group (TWG) studying the legality and viability of motorcycle taxis said yesterday.

The decision came after the group’s meeting with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and the three ride-hailing firms – Angkas, JoyRide and Move It – on Tuesday, where the parties agreed on concessions and guidelines for the pilot run.

The new rules prescribe a maximum of 15,000 riders for each firm in Metro Manila and 9,000 riders each in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.

A 39,000-biker cap was earlier imposed by the TWG for motorcycles-for-hire operations, where each service provider was allowed 10,000 bikers for Metro Manila and 3,000 bikers each for Cebu.

“On the part of the TWG and DOTr, we also conceded on some points by raising the cap,” TWG chairman Antonio Gardiola Jr. said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel.

Gardiola added that if “one player is not able to come up with that number of riders, (the TWG) will give the excess to the player who is ready.”

The TWG set the deadline for the registration of riders on Feb. 12, a period that determines another round of redistribution should Move It and JoyRide be unable to fill the cap.

Gardiola said Move It’s representatives admitted they could not fill the cap for now, which prompted the allocation of 5,000 more slots to Angkas, increasing its share to 20,000 – a move agreed upon by the three companies.

He said the firms also agreed to retract all the cases lodged against the TWG and that no more cases would be filed against the group for the duration of the pilot study.

The cases, according to Gardiola, made it difficult for the TWG to gather sufficient data to assess the viability of motorcycle taxis.

George Royeca, chief transport advocate of Angkas, said the company officially withdrew the cases yesterday morning and expressed relief that the impasse has been settled.

Gardiola said Cagayan de Oro City was added to represent Mindanao since there are pilot testing areas in Luzon and the Visayas.  – With Edu Punay

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