June 14, 2019
ANGKAS will retrain an additional 15,000 drivers before it could even begin its six-month pilot run of its motorcycle taxi service by the end of this month, an official of the ride-hailing company said on Thursday, a month after the Department of Transportation (DoTr) allowed its implementation in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
In a briefing, Angkas head of operations David Brian Medrana said his firm had retrained 12,000 motorcycle drivers, while 15,000 were yet to undergo retraining.
A total of 27,000 drivers are needed before the company can start the test run, he added.
Since the Transportation department was looking for the pilot run to start by June, Medrana also said at least 2,000 bikers needed to undergo daily a three- to four-hour retraining course that includes reviewing safety measures.
Angkas would also equip its partner-drivers with biker identification cards, vests and helmets in line with the DoTr’s orders.
Medrana assured, however, that this would not trigger fare surges.
“It will still P50 for the first 2 kilometers and P10 per additional km,” he said.
On Angkas operations in Metro Cebu, the department had said riders would be charged P20 for the first kilometer; P16/km for up to 8 km, and P20/km for succeeding kilometers.
Angkas is confident the pilot run would pave the way for the legalization of motorcyle taxis.
“Even before the six-month (run) ends, we hope to refile the bill (seeking for the legalization of motorcycle taxis) in [the House of Representatives] and [the] Senate. 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], so that we can update them on a regular basis on the operations of the pilot program, refine the implementing rules and regulations and put that as part of the bill, whatever is deemed necessary,” George Royeca, Angkas regulatory and public affairs head, said during the briefing.
“Hopefully within six months, mapasa ‘yung bill bago pa matapos ‘yung pilot. ‘Yon ang ating hangarin at ambisyon. Sana makamit natin ‘yon (the bill passes before the pilot run ends. That is our wish and ambition. We hope to attain that),” he added.
Angkas, Medrana said, has a 99.997-percent safety record, despite concerns raised by the government and despite Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, which prohibits two-wheeled vehicles to “engage in business or offer public transport.”
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade warned last month that bikers should secure safety requirements, or the government “will not have second thoughts on halting the pilot implementation.”
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