Commuters, this is not a drill: The motorcycle taxi service Angkas is returning to Metro Manila roads starting today, Nov. 23.
After more than eight months of stopping operations due to social distancing guidelines, Angkas has been allowed to conduct a pilot run where its 6,500 riders would implement new protective rules for passengers. This pilot, which started earlier in the year, was conducted to determine the viability of using motorcycle taxis as public transport vehicles.
According to the motorcycle taxi service’s chief transport advocate George Royeca, Angkas riders took a refresher course about effectively disinfecting their motorcycles and the anti-COVID passenger shields designed by the company itself. These shields, which are made from thin yet durable plastic sheets, were approved by the government in July when backriding was allowed for those who live in the same household.
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Passengers are also required to bring their own helmet, which should have a full-faced visor and lock to serve as face shields while aboard the motorcycles. The visors must be kept down at all times, while bicycle and hardhat helmets won’t be allowed. To prepare passengers for this requirement, Angkas is holding a helmet sale on Lazada until Nov. 30.
PASSENGER HELMET GUIDELINES
Refer to these guidelines to find out what type of helmet to have/invest in for your Angkas rides.
Angkas also assured passengers that all its deployed riders have gotten negative results in their COVID-19 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test. To minimize interaction between riders and passengers, the ride-hailing company will also implement cashless payment transactions.
According to Metro Manila Development Authority EDSA Traffic Chief Bong Nebrija, motorcycle taxi companies JoyRide and Move It are also currently under review prior to being allowed to resume operations to provide commuters more transportation options.
Because of lockdown restrictions, the livelihood of Angkas’ 30,000 bikers was heavily affected. With the company’s operations at a standstill for over eight months, some riders temporarily shifted to providing delivery services through Angkas Pabili and Angkas Padala.
Header photo from Angkas
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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT