Franchise board bans GrabBike

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A recently introduced mode of transportation that beats the horrific heavy traffic in Metro Manila—GrabBike—has temporarily been banned by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) until safety guidelines are created.

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The board on Wednesday ordered MYTAXI.PH to cease from offering the riding public the use of bikes or motorcycles as mode of public transportation until it and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) have promulgated guidelines to authorize the service.

It said MYTAXI.PH is advertising and offering ‘GrabBike’ as mode of public transportation.

The company is only accredited by the board to offer Transport Network Vehicles (TNVs) using digital platform technology pursuant to Department Order (DO) No. 2015-011.

“As part our mission to ensure the riding public’s safety and convenience, we will not tolerate transportation network companies to provide transport service using motorcycles or bikes until we have set the proper guidelines and regulations,” Winston Ginez, LTFRB chairman, said.

The department order does not cover the operation of GrabBike through the use of an Internet-based technology platform to facilitate a pre-arranged transportation for passengers.

LTFRB quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) 2015 road safety report saying 1.25 million people have died globally from road accidents, with motorcyclists comprising 23 percent of deaths.

It said despite implementation of the helmet law in the country, motorcycles have the highest fatality accident rate in Metro Manila from January to November 2015, according to statistics compiled by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System (MMARAS) Database.

The MMARAS database shows that of the 696 road fatalities recorded in that period, 236 were caused by motorcycle accidents.

The database also recorded a total of 166,883 vehicles involved in road accidents in Metro Manila, with motorcycles coming in second with 18,482, next to private cars (81,837).

LTFRB’s Executive Director Glenn Zaragosa directed MYTAXI.PH to cease within five days from the receipt of his letter dated January 21, 2016 from offering the public the use of bikes and motorcycles as transportation mode.

Zaragosa also directed MYTAXI.PH to explain in writing why the company is engaging in a service that is yet to be authorized by the board.

Failure of the company to comply with the directives will cause the board to cancel accreditation of MYTAXI.PH as a TNC.

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