ALTHOUGH there is no exact counterpart word in the English language, "angkas" may mean a back-ride or a hitch on a motorcycle or bicycle. The latter words are the nearest equivalent to the Tagalog word that comes to life, now that there exist a taxi line in Metro Manila composed of motorcycles with their passengers back-riding or hitching.
The technical working group of the Department of Transportation has recommended a six-month extension of the pilot run of the transport firm Angkas. This is for the furtherance of the study on the viability and safety of the motorcycle taxis that is currently under experiment.
It can be recalled that last June, a test run of the ride-hailing transport program was approved in aid of legislation for congress while evaluating pending legislative proposals that seeks to legalize motorcycles as public utility vehicles. The authority given on the test run is supposed to end on December 26 of this year.
The extension is said to be an expansion of the study by allowing more motorcycle taxi service providers to join the pilot run and can give more choices to the riding public on which motorcycle-taxi firm to back-ride or hitch. The ride is of course, which fares.
The motorcycle-taxi program of the government is one of the supposed solutions that was conceptualized precisely to somehow help the riding public more choices on what public transport to use.
So far, the use of motorcycle is proven to be effective for those who want to save time from traffic and transportation fares. A motorcycle is small enough to squeeze in between four-wheeled vehicles that are stuck in traffic jams and gridlocks. Since there is only one passenger in motorcycle taxis, the delays caused by the pick and drop of passengers by four-wheeled vehicles is also avoided.
A friend of mine residing in Quezon City and working in Makati City has proven that motorcycle taxis are effective especially to working individuals who are usually rushing to their work every morning and for their homes after serving their work hours. He has proven that riding Angkas motorcycles is more practical and can save a lot of travel time.
With the extension of the period of the authority to operate Angkas and the authority given to other motorcycle taxi operators, the government can initiate further study while commuters can have extra miles and time to enjoy riding motorcycles that are proposed to be tapped as a form of public utility.
The question now that those undergoing the study on motorcycle taxis need to answer is the safety of motorcycle-riding especially in Metro Manila. The Philippine National Police has the growing statistics of motorcycle accidents in our streets. Should the motorcycle taxi program of the government be approved through legislation, we can expect the number of motorcycle accidents to rise.
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