For those who think that joining Angkas is as easy as learning to ride a bike, think again.
Out of 100,000 applicants only 27,000 biker partners have been accredited by Angkas to ensure that only the most qualified bikers are approved.
Ankas boasts of a 99.99% safety record and according to Angkas Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs George Royeca, less than 30 percent of the applicant-riders pass their stringent requirements that include skills assessment, exams, and extensive motorcycle-safety training. This low passing ratio reflects how Angkas is serious about their high safety standards.
“The safety of the riding public has always been Angkas’ advocacy. All our biker-partners go through rigorous riding skills assessments, written tests, and extensive safety training to ensure they meet very high safety standards. We fail over 70% of applicants to make sure that only the most capable bikers ferry passengers for Angkas,” Royeca said.
Getting accepted, however, is just the beginning and for the last couple of weeks, Angkas’ partner riders have been undergoing retraining in preparation for their highly anticipated pilot run by the end of the month.
So far, Angkas has already trained 12,000 out of its total 27,000 partner rider pool and it hopes to complete retraining the remaining 15,000 in time the government-sanctioned six-month pilot run in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
In a press conference held in Manila, Thursday, June 13, 2019, Royeca said the retraining is part of their compliance with the directive and recommendations of the Technical Working Group (TWG) created by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to study the feasibility of motorcycle taxis.
PILOT RUN PREPARATIONS
Besides updating their skills, Angkas has also updated their riders’ uniform for the pilot run.
Each Angkas partner rider receives a reflector vest that contains the bike operator’s unique ID number, ensuring that only officially registered partner riders can take bookings.
Angkas Operations Head David Medrana revealed, “For the pilot run, Angkas is introducing special reflectorized vests with side straps that help bikers become more visible at night and aid passengers in holding on to the biker’s waist. Each vest also has the biker’s unique ID number, ensuring that only officially-registered bikers can take bookings.”
Medrana also said that, as before, all Angkas biker-partners and their passengers are insured for every ride.
“We also have a feedback mechanism in our app to closely monitor the performance of all our biker-partners and address any concerns immediately,” Medrana noted. “Hopefully, after the six-month pilot-run, the law to regulate motorcycle taxis can already be passed,” he added.
And since safety doesn’t just rely on the rider, every Angkas passenger will also be given a short briefing before embarking on how to safely and properly backride. They will be provided with info sheets to show to passengers.
Jobert Bolaños of the Motorcycle Rights Organization declared, “The pilot run is the fruit of the long hours spent by the members of the TWG: Angkas, the DOTr, the LTFRB, the Highway Patrol Group, the MMDA, and all the hardworking commuter groups, transport advocates, and members of the academe. We’ve spent a long time working to figure out how to come up with a motorcycle taxi service that’s not only fast and accessible, but also satisfies the safety requirements of the regulatory agencies as well.”
Just last month, Secretary Arthur Tugade and his agency, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had granted motorcycle taxis a pilot run. One of the largest operators that stands to benefit is app-based ride-hailing service, Angkas.
The pilot run is a 6-month period of operation in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Data collected from this operation period will serve as the basis for the proposed laws and implementing rules and regulations for motorcycle taxis nationwide.
IMPROVING MOTORCYCLE RIDING SAFETY
Whether they pass or fail, all Angkas applicants will have to undergo a safety seminar, practical test and training, and written exam, all provided by Angkas for free. Besides its mission to provide an alternative transport solution for the Filipino Angkas aims to create a more safety-conscious and better educated riding populace. It hopes that these practices will be emulated by the entire 18-million motorcycle rider population across the country.