Manila City Mayor Francisco Domagoso on Monday announced he would allow the operation of electronic tricycles (e-trikes), provided they would be regulated by the local government.
Domagoso said under his watch, the city government would “no longer allow e-tricycles to travel along the city’s major thoroughfares.”
Members of the City Council led by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna are now preparing measures that will grant franchises for e-tricycle operators. The Council will identify the classification, designated routes, and regulated fares of e-tricycles.
The city government made the announcement following the move of Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines to reorganize electric tricycles in Manila to address the concerns of Domagoso.
EVAP said in a weekend statement while it was supporting Domagoso’s drive to clean up and put order to Manila streets, he should consider energy efficiency in transportation in support of the policies of the departments of Transportation and Interior and Local Government.
“EVAP, aligned with the policy of DOTr and DILG, also agree that all tricycles, i.e. electric-driven or not, should not be plying national roads, except in the absence of alternative public transport and minor roads and in cases that support national and local strategic agenda, e.g. tourism, logistics,” the group said.
EVAP confirmed that several e-trikes were rolled out in some areas in the city of Manila with minimal consideration on its proper operation that eventually created disorder.
“However, a number of initiatives were properly planned out, functioning well and are serving their purpose. This is particularly true in the case of the tourist e-trike services in Intramuros,” it said.
Domagaso said earlier he considers pulling out and cancel the privilege given to e-trike operators, saying they are not registered and the project was used by the previous city administration only for political purposes.
The city government launched the E-Trikes system project in February 2016, which according to then mayor Joseph Estrada, aimed to promote tourism, give the passengers an alternative mode of transportation and help reduce air pollution in Manila.
Estrada had said the innovative E-Trikes project also aimed to promote environment-friendly transport and increase the income of tricycle drivers who are also to own the new vehicles through affordable amortizations.
The E-trikes initially fielded in the Ermita and Malate, known tourists spots in Manila.
An E-trike runs on gel-type batteries than can be fully charged for only 4-5 hours. It can carry up to seven passengers and has a maximum speed of 40-45 kilometer per hour (kph).