Biker cap for motorcycle taxis raised to 63,000 for NCR, Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 22) — A total of 63,000 motorcycle taxi riders may now serve commuters in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and this time, Cagayan de Oro.

House Transportation Committee Chair Edgar Mary Sarmiento of Samar made this announcement Wednesday, after an executive session with the Transportation Department’s technical working group and motorcycle taxis seeking to continue plying their usual routes.

From the previous 30,000 total cap for Metro Manila riders, ride-hailing firms Angkas, JoyRide and Move It may have an additional 5,000 bikers each for a total of 45,000. That means each ride-hailing company can operate 15,000 motorcycle taxis in Metro Manila.

For Metro Cebu, the 3,000-rider cap for each firm will be maintained, which is equivalent to 9,000 riders for the three companies.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro City will also be allowed to have the 3,000-rider cap for each firm for a total of 9,000, after the technical working group head Antonio Gardiola confirmed that it will now be included in the government’s study for motorcycle taxis.

“To add it all, magkakaroon na po tayo ng 63,000-cap all in all, (we will have a 63,000-cap all in all)” Gardiola said in a chance interview with the media.

“We are considering all sentiments, recommendations, that’s why we came up with all this, [including] raising the cap,” he added, noting that more transportation experts will take part in the study.

This means that the study now covers Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao on the safety and efficiency of motorcycle taxis as a mode of public transportation.

In a statement released by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said should any of the players fail to fill up the slots allotted to them, these could be claimed by other companies.

Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca also confirmed that they have agreed to drop their cases against the technical working group, making room for the study to resume unhampered.

Angkas riders earlier filed a petition against the new Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) guidelines on the motorcycle pilot run, including its previous cap implementation which would leave 17,000 of their drivers unemployed, after Joy Ride and Move It entered the market.

“The cases…nagkausap na kami [ng TWG] doon. We are now in collaboration. Excited po kami sa pilot at makipagtulungan sa gobyerno,” Angkas chief advocate George Royeca said.

[Translation: Regarding the cases, we have already talked about it with the TWG. We are now in collaboration. We are excited for the pilot and in cooperating with the government.]

“With the cooperation that we have at hand, palagay ko kayang tapusin ito (I think we can finish it in time),” Gardiola added.

Gardiola earlier told the media that they will have to terminate their study and declare the three ride-hailing firms as "illegal," as they have not gathered sufficient data on their safety despite the three-month extension given to conduct the study.

Senators were not convinced by this claim, noting that both chambers of Congress cannot be pressured into passing a measure just because of the technical working group's "inability to get data."

READ: Motorcycle taxis not yet banned as pilot run continues – DOTr

The Inter-agency TWG first conducted its study from June to December 2019. This was extended to three more months until March this year.