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More players may join Angkas dry run

DOTr open to extending pilot test for motorcycle taxis depending on results of evaluation report

Other motorcycle-for-hire companies might soon join Angkas in the ongoing pilot test to determine whether the two-wheelers could be safely used as public utility vehicles (PUVs), said the Department of Transportation (DOTr),which was mulling the possibility of extending the dry run until next year.

This meant that Angkas, currently the only one participating in the test, could soon face competition from other fledgling motorcycle groups.

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No less than Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade himself said he wanted other companies to join the dry run provided they meet the same strict standards imposed on Angkas when the pilot test started in May, Transportation Undersecretary Mark de Leon told the Inquirer on Sunday.

However, the DOTr has yet to receive the final assessment report from the technical working group that crafted the guidelines for the six-month-long dry run.

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De Leon said they expected the evaluation report to be submitted this week, with days to go before the culmination of the pilot test on Dec. 26.

He refused to give a definite answer on whether the pilot test would be extended, pending the results of the evaluation report and Tugade’s final approval.

The Inquirer is aware of four bikes-for-hire services raring to enter the market: Joyride, Habals Inc., Sampa and i-Sabay.

But Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Technical Division Chief Joel Bolanos said in a television interview that they had received six applications from bike-hailing services.

Sampa, i-Sabay and Joyride are already in various stages of operability.

Earlier, Joyride vice president for corporate affairs Noli Eala confirmed that they had asked the DOTr to allow them to join the dry run.

Angkas, which has been lobbying to extend the pilot test beyond the holiday season when traffic is expected to worsen, welcomed its possible extension.

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Welcome move

In a statement on Sunday, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca said he was grateful “that the government [was] seriously considering extending the test run for Angkas.”

“It’s heartwarming to see that so many of our Filipino commuters support our service and have openly expressed their wish for Angkas to continue serving the public,”he added.

According to Royeca, Angkas is open to “other competitors and grateful that many are now supporting motorcycle taxis” although he hopes they will also adhere to the same standards that the ride-hailing app has maintained throughout its operations.

Angkas’ current accident rate is 0.003 percent, but the details of its actual safety record have yet to be disclosed to the public.

To pave the way for motorcycles to be used as PUVs, however, Congress must first amend the law.

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TAGS: Angkas, Arthur Tugade, DoTr, LTFRB, ride-hailing services
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