A COMMUTERS’ group has 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.

“Combined, thousands of motorcycles illegally booking and transporting passengers ply the roads, unduly exposing petitioners’ members to road hazards and increased risk of accidents,” the group said in its petition.

The use of motorcycle taxis is being pilot-tested in Metro Manila and Cebu City upon the recommendation of the Department of Transportations, 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.

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.

“We have requested an immediate restraining order to prevent grave and irreparable damage to the riding public in general, and to the pilot program in particular,” group member Raymond Parsifal A. Fortun said in the statement.

“Moreover, any accident during this critical period will also sabotage the pilot program,” he added.

LCSP President Antonio E. Inton, Jr. said five motorcycle companies were operating outside the six-month pilot program of the transport agency, which is set to end on Dec. 26.

He said this defeats the essence of the pilot testing and exposes the riding public to “grave” risks.

BusinessWorld tried to contact Sampa-Dala and Habal Rides for comments but their emails bounced. It also tried to reach the rest of the respondents but was unsuccessful. — Arjay L. Balinbin