By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter

JOYRIDE is bent on deploying more bikers until it reaches the 10,000 cap despite the government’s plan to terminate the pilot program that allowed the operation of motorcycle taxis, an official of the ride-hailing firm said.

“We will await the final decision of the TWG (technical working group). In the meantime, we would like to continue to hasten the activation of our bikers based on the guidelines of the TWG so that we can serve the riding public until such time that we are told that this program will no longer push through,” JoyRide Vice-President for Corporate Affairs Jose Emmanuel “Noli” M. Eala told BusinessWorld late on Monday.

He was reacting to the announcement of the TWG on Monday that its members had agreed to terminate the pilot test, which was supposed to run until March.

JoyRide (We Move Things Philippines, Inc.) now 10,000 bikers, with 4,000 of them already on Metro Manila roads.

The termination comes after one of the motorcycle taxi firms filed a lawsuit questioning the TWG’s policy that limits the number of bikers in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddes Hope O. Libiran told BusinessWorld in a phone message on Tuesday that the body will be meeting with stakeholders this week to hear their sentiments on the recommendation before it makes its final decision on the matter.

“We are yet to meet tomorrow to discuss, but we are considering the sentiments of the Senate and our stakeholders,” she said.

“If we will extend, we don’t want the atmosphere of cases to continue. Dapat sumunod sila sa cap and sa specified locations lang (They should follow the cap and operate only in specified locations),” the official added.

As for the latest number of JoyRide bikers, Mr. Eala said: “As of now, we have a total of 10,000 bikers registered with the TWG as required of us. Out of the 10,000 bikers that we have, 4,000 have already been activated. We are confident that we will be able to activate the entire 10,000 in the next four weeks.”

He said JoyRide’s daily passengers have been growing in number “exponentially.”

“We are happy to report that our numbers are very encouraging. We have increased the number of our passengers exponentially in the last four weeks,” he said.

He also said the company is hoping that the TWG would reverse its decision on the pilot program.

“We have always followed the guidelines of the TWG and, of course, we have invested substantially in this business, believing that there’s going to be a three-month pilot extension,” he said.

“We are hoping that the three-month extension will be continued, and we will run through the course because of the investments that have been made by JoyRide. But again, as we have already said and we have consistently mentioned, we will abide by whatever the rules given to us by the TWG. We are hoping that they will favorably consider continuing with the pilot implementation,” he added.