Angkas, the country’s first app-based motorcycle ride-hailing service, is ready for its government-sanctioned six-month pilot run in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu with additional safety measures in place and a retraining of all its 27,000 biker-partners.
In a press conference held yesterday, Angkas head of regulatory and public affairs George Royeca said that they are retraining their current biker-partners in preparation for the pilot run and in compliance with the directive and recommendations of the Technical Working Group (TWG) created by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to study the feasibility of motorcycle taxis.
“The safety of the riding public has always been Angkas’ advocacy. All our biker-partners go through rigorous riding skills assessments, written tests, and extensive safety training to ensure they meet very high safety standards. We fail over 70 percent of applicants to make sure that only the most capable bikers ferry passengers for Angkas,” Royeca said.
For his part, Angkas operations head David Medrana revealed, “For the pilot run, Angkas is introducing special reflectorized vests with side straps that help bikers become more visible at night and aid passengers in holding on to the biker’s waist. Each vest also has the biker’s unique ID number, ensuring that only officially-registered bikers can take bookings.”
Medrana also said that, as before, all Angkas biker-partners and their passengers are insured for every ride.
“We also have a feedback mechanism in our app to closely monitor the performance of all our biker-partners and address any concerns immediately,” Medrana noted. “Hopefully, after the six-month pilot-run, the law to regulate motorcycle taxis can already be passed,” he added.
Angkas has been an advocate for biker education and training since the service’s inception. Testament to their strict safety guidelines, Angkas officials have trained more than 100,000 motorcycle bikers to date but have accredited only 27,000 biker-partners because of their stringent standards. This has resulted in a current safety record of 99.997 percent.
In a previous statement, Royeca declared, “I am grateful that the DOTr saw the merits of Angkas’ safety record and we are happy to be working with them to ensure motorcycle taxis are safe.”
Jobert Bolaños of the Motorcycle Rights Organization declared, “The pilot run is the fruit of the long hours spent by the members of the TWG: Angkas, the DOTr, the LTFRB, the Highway Patrol Group, the MMDA, and all the hardworking commuter groups, transport advocates, and members of the academe. We’ve spent a long time working to figure out how to come up with a motorcycle taxi service that’s not only fast and accessible, but also satisfies the safety requirements of the regulatory agencies as well.”