MMDA exec mulls ban of motorcycle taxis on major roads

A traffic official on Thursday said he will recommend that motorcycle taxis be banned from using Metro Manila's major roads, such as Edsa, due to the inherent dangers faced by motorcycles loaded with passengers in busy thoroughfares.

In a press conference on Thursday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Arturo Jojo Garcia said that as part of the Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Study Technical Working Group (TWG), he will recommend the ban to lawmakers which would include Metro Manila's major roads such as circumferential, radial, and national roads.

Circumferential road, R1 to R10, national roads, bawal dapat ang motorcyle taxis, kasi nga may pasahero yan eh. Tricycle nga hindi natin pinapayagan, mas safe pa yan (motorcycle taxis should be banned from these because it has a passenger. Even tricycles are not allowed and those are safer), Garcia said.

He said even if riders and passengers are required to wear safety gear such as helmets, knee pads, and others, accidents that could occur at high speed and busy roads would result in tragedy for motorcycle taxis.

To address further safety issues with motorcycle taxis, TWG chair Antonio Gardiola Jr. said a new safety requirement being eyed by the study was the inclusion of more passenger grips on motorcycle taxis aside from grip belts worn by riders.

He said the new grips to be installed on the motorcycles themselves would be more stable than grip belts and would also benefit those who are uncomfortable with holding onto riders.

Registered riders

Meanwhile, Gardiola said the registration of riders in the pilot study officially ended on Wednesday, with a final count of 51,925 registered riders from the 63,000 rider cap.

In Metro Manila, he said Angkas has registered 20,000 riders, followed by JoyRide with 15,000, and Move It with 6,836 totaling 41,836 riders, under the 45,000 rider cap for Metro Manila.

In Metro Cebu, Angkas has registered 4,500 riders, JoyRide with 4,488, and Move It with none just shy of 12 from the 9,000 rider cap in the metropolis.

Meanwhile, in Cagayan de Oro City, Angkas still has the most riders with 925, followed by JoyRide with 176, and Move It with none still short of 7,899 riders to reach the 9,000 rider cap in the city.

Following the deadline for the registration of riders, Gardiola said the remaining 11,075 unused rider cap will be redistributed among the three motorcycle taxi transport network companies (TNC).

Starting today, unused cap the difference there can be taken advantage of other TNCs, Gardiola said.

During the event, Garcia announced a government crackdown against habal habal terminals, or terminals of illegal motorcycle taxis operating offline, and motorcycle taxis operating while unregistered in the TWG's master list.

Gardiola said violators will be issued with citation tickets and their motorcycles may be possibly impounded while platforms blatantly violating the TWG's conditions could face blacklisting following the pilot study's conclusion.

Source: Philippines News Agency