AT LEAST seven parties are expected to contend for new motorcycle taxi concessions for currently underserved territories, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said. 

“The draft final report is to be submitted to the Congress. It is almost done and will expand the areas covered pending the action of Congress in the passage of the new law governing motorcycle taxis. The thrust is to go outside Metro Manila and Metro Cebu,” Transport Assistant Secretary Vigor D. Mendoza, who heads the LTO, told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing on Wednesday.

Mr. Mendoza declined to identify the seven potential concessionaires who might be added to the ranks of the currently licensed service providers, Angkas, JoyRide and Move It.

The seven have expressed their interest in operating outside Metro Manila, he said, adding that the candidates must demonstrate their capacity for training drivers and maintaining a depot for their vehicles. 

“No more Metro Manila (for now) but… (the area of deployment) will still depend on the local government units. As you know, Metro Manila is huge,” he added.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has said that it is set to conclude the pilot study on motorcycle taxis within the year.

In 2019, the Transportation department directed the LTFRB to form a technical working group to oversee the rollout of motorcycle taxi services offered by Angkas, JoyRide and Move It.

The pilot study resumed last year after having been suspended in 2020. The study will generate recommendations on safety, security, franchising, and regulatory procedures. 

Currently, ride hailing companies and accredited motorcycles-for-hire operate under a provisional authority, as Republic Act (RA) No. 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, prohibits the use of two-wheeled vehicles for public transport.

The proposed Motorcycles-For-Hire Act, aimed to amend RA 4136, remains at the committee levels in the Senate and House of Representatives. — Ashley Erika O. Jose