Commuters will now have more alternative transportation options amid the pandemic as motorcycle taxis have been allowed to resume their pilot run next week, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said.
In a statement on Saturday, LTO said bike-hailing operators Angkas, JoyRide, and MoveIt will be allowed to return on the roads starting Monday, November 23, subject to its compliance with the pilot study guidelines.
According to the LTO, the technical working group (TWG) for the motorcycle taxi pilot run held a meeting with the three participating firms to inform them of the requirements and regulations needed for the resumption of the study.
The TWG is composed of representatives from the LTO, Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT), and the PNP-Highway Patrol Group (HPG).
Galvante, who heads the TWG, earlier said that the sooner that bike-hailing operators can comply with the set requirements, the sooner they can start to operate.
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 earlier issued and approved the guidelines for the continuation of the pilot study which was cut short this year due to the health crisis.
Among the guidelines was the mandatory use of NTF-approved barriers to separate the biker and the passenger to further curb the spread of the virus.
Passengers will also be required to bring their own helmet with a visor which will act as a face shield aside from the minimum health standard of wearing face masks.
The government has also mandated motorcycle taxis to transition to cashless transactions for every ride as part of the government effort’s to prevent COVID-19 transmission through limited physical contact.
Angkas and JoyRide earlier thanked the government for allowing motorcycle taxis to resume operations again which they said would help thousands of bikers who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Angkas Chief Transport Advocate George Royeca previously assured the government that they are fully compliant with all the requirements set by the government for motorcycles-for-hire.
Royeca added that Angkas already prepared its 23,000 riders for the NCR, 4,500 for Cebu, and 900 for Cagayan De Oro.
Meanwhile, JoyRide Vice President for Corporate Affairs Noli Eala also assured that they are prepared to comply with the guidelines and health standards to be imposed upon motorcycle ride-hailing service providers.
According to Eala, all of JoyRide’s 15,000 bikers are currently preparing — 5,000 of which have already submitted the health clearances.
Bike-hailing firms continued to conduct swab testing among its bikers to make sure that they are COVID-free before ferrying passengers.