Groups back motorbike taxi expansion moratorium

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Groups back motorbike taxi expansion moratorium
A bus zoomed past motorists stuck in heavy traffic as it drove along the southbound bus lane of EDSA in Cubao, Quezon City on November 7, 2023.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Transport and consumer groups backed a House of Representatives committee’s proposed moratorium on additional players in the motorcycle taxi pilot study in Metro Manila.

The House committee on Metro Manila development is planning to halt the accreditation of more motorcycle taxis.

The livelihood of drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) nationwide would be severely affected by the expansion of the motorcycle taxi study, according to National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines president Ariel Lim.

During the House panel’s hearing, panel vice chair Manila District 3 Rep. Joel Chua underscored the need to stop the expansion amid the worsening traffic congestion in the metropolis.

Lim expressed alarm over rising motorcycle accidents.

Allowing the entry of new modes of transportation would further reduce the incomes of transport sector members, according to Pasang Masda president Obet Martin.

Taxi drivers also bore the brunt of the increasing competition from motorcycle taxis, Laban TNVS president Jun de Leon said.

“If additional motorcycle taxis and cars are allowed, the earnings of existing PUVs will suffer. Many of the drivers are now affected. There were many instances of drivers waiting under the trees while waiting for their bookings. The TNVS (transport network vehicle service) community feels the low demand,” he added.

Comprehensive solutions are needed to address road safety concerns and traffic management, Inland Haulers and Truckers Association president Teddy Gervacio said.

Inadequate training among some participants in the pilot study has led to a rising number of road violations and motorcycle accidents, Motorcycle Rights Organization chairman Jobert Bolanos said.

Stakeholders and members of the technical working group were not consulted on the proposed expansion of motorcycle taxis, he noted.

An inventory of players in the motorcycle taxi pilot study is needed to prevent oversaturation in the market, Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is expected to issue a decision on the proposed moratorium within seven days.

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