Motorcycle ridesharing companies lobby anew to allow backriding

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Angkas Shield

MANILA – As Metro Manila begins to ease restrictions, bike-sharing firms Angkas and Joyride proposed the use of plastic shields between the drivers and passengers in a bid to lobby authorities to finally allow the resumption of motorcycle taxi operations.

While awaiting the decision on the legalization of motorcycle taxis, Angkas chief transport advocate George Royeca yesterday the firm has submitted a set of proposed health and safety protocols to Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for review.

Angkas and Joyride unveiled their prototypes for a “backpack shield,” a shield strap on the back of the driver to separate them from the passengers. The design is similar to the one proposed in Indonesia’s bike drivers. The low-cost drag resistant were designed to minimize injury to the riders incase of an accident.

Royeca said that the company are doing everything they can to help out in this crisis. Angkas and Joyride hopes to work with the government in pursuing further studies on how to make the motorcycle ridesharing a safe mode of transportation in quarantine areas.

UP Manila College of Public Health Dean Vicente Belizario Jr. said, while the shields are not a 100-percent guarantee, it would help mitigate virus transmission as the layer of shield would act as a protection to both driver and riders. The resumption of motorcycle taxi will also help workers and frontliners go to and from their places of work.

According to  Belizario, we can’t wait for the vaccine to be available before we allow the ride sharing firms to continue operations. The restrictions would add suffering to the public because of a lack of opportunities to earn a living due to the insufficient public transportation Angkas and Joyride hopes that these additional safety precaution would convince authorities to allow the resumption of motorcycle ride sharing operations.

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