With its launch in 2016, motorcycle taxi service Angkas offered an alternative method of transportation so commuters could glide through Metro Manila and Cebu traffic at the tap of a button.
The app-based ride-hailing service was bound to become popular in cities where commuters spend hours in traffic jams every day. Under Philippine laws, however, Angkas' status remains illegal. Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code provides that motorcycles can only be private or government vehicles. Private vehicles cannot be used for hire, while government vehicles can only be used in fulfilling government functions.
With 9 pending bills in Congress seeking to recognize motorcycle taxis, the technical working group (TWG) set strict and specific guidelines on Angkas’ operations during the pilot run to ensure commuters’ safety. While Angkas maintained a 99.997% safety rate, new players JoyRide and Move It have yet to show similar statistics.
In neighboring countries of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, motorcycle taxis started as an informal sector and evolved into ride-hailing app-based service that received government attention and regulation.
This is how Angkas-like services operate in other Southeast Asian countries:
Ojeks, or motorcycle taxis, existed in Indonesia for many years prior to the rise of ride-hailing apps. Similar to the Philippines’ habal-habal system, ojeks were an informal means for moving people around the city. Commuters would look for an ojek shelter or hail for them wherever they could find them. Some lucky commuters developed a rapport with drivers to service them regularly.
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