I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t prejudge most motorcycle drivers as uneducated road users. After all, far too many of them have left scratches on my precious Subaru’s bodywork. But I’m no saint behind the wheel either, so I do admit that the aforementioned prejudging is uncalled for. We all need to give each other a chance to do better.
That is precisely why Angkas, the popular ride-hailing app for motorbike taxis, is retraining its pool of drivers in a bid to convince Congress that two-wheelers are safe and reliable for public transportation. This comes after the Department of Transportation gave the go-ahead last month for a six-month pilot program that will ultimately determine whether the service gets the permanent green light.
During this time, Angkas and its drivers will have to prove that they are a safe and reliable option for people to use in getting around the metropolis. To that end, these motorcycle jockeys are required to attend a refresher course on riding safety. They are also issued the following safety gear: a reflective vest with the driver’s details and side straps that the passenger can hold on to, two helmets, and a supply of shower caps and face masks for the back rider. Angkas patrons are also given a safety card to study before setting off on the journey.
But all this work in making Angkas legal again has goals beyond the service’s reputation and public trust. According to Jobert Bolanos, chairman of the Motorcycle Rights Organization, this could be the management template which other app-based delivery services using motorcycles can adopt. He is hoping that the two-wheeled transport service industry will be seen in a different light by the motoring and commuting public as a result of these practices being pioneered by Angkas.
The demand for motorcycle taxis means that services like Angkas are here to stay. Having witnessed one of the refresher courses myself, I can say that change for the better is indeed coming. I urge you, my fellow motorists and commuters, to take a fresh look at Angkas when you see its riders on the road. You might learn a thing or two from them.