At least 200 Angkas bikers assembled to offer commuters free rides at the North Avenue station of the Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) a few weeks after the motorbike hailing app voluntarily suspended operations to dialogue with transport authorities.
Ryan Rillera, President of an Angkas bikers group in Taguig, disclosed that bikers from all over the city voluntarily arranged the free ride activity to help out their fellow citizens who face the worsening traffic every day.
“What we’re doing here, it’s free. We are the Angkas bikers that lost our jobs but instead of doing a picket rally, we’re helping the people who experience difficulties like us, those who have a hard time commuting.” Rillera shared. “The people who get stuck in traffic, they need us. We hope it can be the same with us, we’re calling on our senators, or whoever can help us.”
According to the bikers, who offered free rides at the MRT North Avenue station as early as 6 a.m., they had fulfilled around 140 free rides before being halted by Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The MMDA alleged that the activity did not have the proper authorization from authorities.
However, earlier this year, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra mentioned in an interview that as long as the private vehicles did not charge for the ride the LTFRB would not prohibit the service.
Most commuters took to social media to express solidarity with the well-meant efforts of the bikers who are now jobless due to the regulation impediments.
Yana Marusero expressed her gratitude over the free ride from an Angkas rider wishing the service would always be available.
Enuraisa Panondiongan pointed out the practicality of the service, comparing it to Bangkok, the capital of neighboring country Thailand, where motorcycle taxis are common.
Samantha Gray on Facebook shared how heartwarming it is to hear commuters suport and recognize the need for Angkas, cheering on all the riders that offered free rides.
In a Facebook post, Angkas Biker Brye Yan reiterated the goal of the group when they offered the free rides: help out their fellow Filipino commuters, who suffer from long queues at the MRT and traffic gridlock around the metro instead of staging a picket rally.
Commuters and bikers continue to call on government officials to allow Angkas to resume operations, as the motorcycle ride-hailing app has been an effective commuting option since it launched earlier this year. It had been downloaded over half a million times.
The free rides were initiated and organized by the Angkas biker groups.