By Arjay L. Balinbin

MOTORCYCLE taxi company JoyRide is working to further develop its delivery business as its passenger services face an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jose Emmanuel “Noli” M. Eala, vice-president for corporate affairs at JoyRide (We Move Things Philippines, Inc.), told BusinessWorld that the “new normal,” where everyone is expected to observe physical distancing rules, greatly affects the livelihood of motorcycle taxi riders.

“As far as JoyRide is concerned, we’ve already provided them the platform now. I think we will continue to develop this delivery platform to make it more convenient,” he said in a phone interview.

“We have already come up with two types of services: the delivery and the other one is Pabili. With the Pabili service, we are now able to sign up merchants where people can actually do concierge services for them, and I think that’s the area which we are trying to develop,” he added.

He said the company has convinced “a good number” of riders to shift from passenger services to delivery since the start of the government-imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Our delivery service actually started at a low point, but it has picked up exponentially in the last three and a half weeks,” he added.

“We have seen the potentials. We have also seen how the future might look with this quarantine. We believe that this is an area that we will be exploring even more, even beyond the quarantine. I think there are really good signs that people will need this kind of service in the future. Of course, we will still continue our passenger services, our motorcycle taxi, depending on what the government allows us to do in the future,” Mr. Eala continued.

The Transportation department’s pilot program for motorcycle taxis had ended last March 23.

“There has been no discussion on this obviously, and of course we will be waiting for Congress to craft the legislation. In the meantime, there is still a demand that we believe needs to be served in the future. We are confident that the government will see that the motorcycle taxi service is not only necessary but also safe. We have been collating all the data necessary to present to the government to prove that the motorcycle taxi service should be allowed and should be legalized,” Mr. Eala said.