Passengers weigh in on Angkas weight check

CEBUANOS have expressed varying opinions on Angkas’s Weight Safety Check provision, with some hailing it, and others saying it could offend.

Angkas, a passenger transport and curb-side delivery service, updated its app with a new interface on Jan. 6, 2020 to include the Weight Safety Check, where users are asked to provide their weight range.

It also said “heavy” passengers may be denied because the new rules require riders not to be paired with passengers they may not be able to carry.

“We don’t judge; we just want to ensure the safety of both you and our bikers,” said Angkas, which also assured the privacy of the passenger’s information.

Apple Grace Danuco, 24, an Angkas user, said the provision only highlights the safety and comfort of both the driver and the passenger. She said setting restrictions is helpful and a way to avoid accidents.

Derwin Crisologo Jr., 21, believes the addition of the weight provision in the app will make it easier now for Angkas bikers to explain to passengers whenever there is a need to decline a booking.

For Pia Gabuya, 22, the move is not discriminatory or new since even when she made bookings in the past, she had already received advisories from Angkas.

However, she said people could still lie about their weight.

Billy Pinay, 29, said it was unavoidable that some people may take it negatively. Thus it is a challenge for Angkas to let the public understand this.

Julit Jainar, a teacher who uses Angkas three to four times a week to get to her class on time, asked if the provision applies only in Metro Manila, saying she was not asked about her weight during her booking with Angkas on Saturday.

David Merana, Angkas head of operations, in a statement released Friday, said the improvement was based on their discussion with the Department of Transportation at the start of their pilot run in June 2019.

He said the provision is also referenced in the passenger safety cards carried by their bikers and in materials they posted online.

He said their goal is to ensure that all bookings match the passenger with the most appropriate bike and biker.

Angkas and two other motorcycle taxi services, Move It and JoyRide, are currently participating in the government’s motorcycle taxi pilot program which will run until March this year. The pilot program was created to guide legislators as they discuss whether Republic Act 4136 or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code should be amended to allow the use of motorcycles as public utility vehicles.

Under Section 7 of RA 4136, private motorcycles or scooters “shall not be used for hire under any circumstances and shall not be used to solicit, accept, or be used to transport passengers or freight for pay.” / WBS