COMMUTERS’ groups want Congress to legalize motorcycles as a mode of transportation, saying the six-month pilot program is enough to determine their viability.

“Three months could have been a good time for the House of Representatives and Senate to hear the proposed bills already, using initial results,” Jason Salvador, group managing director said in a statement on Wednesday.

A body of the Transportation department earlier endorsed a six-month extension of the pilot program to involve more players. The original program will end on Dec. 26.

The use of motorcycle taxis is being pilot-tested in Metro Manila and Cebu City upon the recommendation of the department, which set guidelines on fares, speed limits and safety gears.

The Land Transportation and Traffic Code does not recognize single motorcycles to operate for public transport.

In a separate statement, Raymond Gascon of Move Metro Manila said: “In principle we agree with the need for the motorcycle taxi safety protocols to be extended to and applied to other motorcycle taxi service providers.”

“Competition is good and should be a welcome development. We are just concerned with the process through which this decision was made without us having been called into a meeting.”

A commuters’ group earlier asked a Quezon City court to stop five motorcycle taxi companies from operating, accusing them of being fly-by-night operators that expose their customers to undue risks.

Lawyers for Commuter Safety and Protection (LCSP) asked the trial court to stop We Move Things Philippines, Inc. (Joyride), Habal Rides Corp., I-Sabay, Sampa-Dala Corp. and Trans-Serve Corp.

The transport agency formed a technical working group in December last year to address calls to include the two-wheeled vehicle as a legal transportation mode. — Arjay L. Balinbin