No tip, no ride? Barbers calls out 'choosy' motorcycle taxi riders

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers is calling on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to look into reports of abusive, "choosy" motorcycle taxi riders who only accept bookings of commuters who offer tips.

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep.Robert Ace Barbers (Ellson Quismorio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

"My office has received complaints about the tendency of some motorcycle taxi riders to be 'choosy' when it comes to accepting the booking of commuters. According to the reports, it's the commuters who declare tips to the riders upfront who get their bookings accepted," Barbers said.

On the other hand, those who can't provide a tip during booking for one reason or another often have to wait for a long time are left at the mercy of these motorcycle taxi companies, he said.

"The DOTr must look into such complaints since this is a form of abuse. The fact that there is still no law regulating motorcycle taxis means that the DOTr and other concerned transportarion agencies must be more mindful and responsive of such complaints," said Barbers, a senior member of the Nacionalista Party (NP) in the House of Representatives.

"Unless, of course, they admit that choosy riders are a preview of what's to come under their eventual regulation of the industry," the Mindanao lawmaker said.

The sole basis for the operation of motorcycle-based transportation network companies (TNC) is the ongoing pilot study of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) of the industry. Under this pilot study, only three players--Angkas, JoyRide, and Move It--are being accommodated.

The LTO is an attached agency of the DOTr.

"A simple solution to this is for the ongoing pilot testing scheme on motorcycle taxis to be expanded to accept more players," Barbers suggested.

"More players mean that commuters will have higher chances of booking a ride immediately, which is the point of having these types of conveyances in the first place. I understand that the pilot testing is accomodating only three motorcycle taxi players," he pointed out.

"At any rate, I call on the DOTr to include such complaints on abusive riders in its final assessment at the end of the pilot study, whenever that time will come," Barbers said.