Colo­rum finder

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE - [email protected]­bunephl_wjg

Ride-hail­ing and nav­i­ga­tional apps are not the only soft­ware that made city travel eas­ier. These in­ven­tions in­spired the de­vel­op­ment of other mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions that

also pro­mote ef­fi­cient and faster mo­bil­ity. One off­shoot is Sakay, which of­fers users the best di­rec­tion and trans­port mode in get­ting around Metro Manila.

Cre­ated in 2013, Sakay is the brain­child of Ate­nean grad­u­ates and app devel­op­ers Phillip Cheang, who is now its CEO, and Thomas Dy. It is down­load­able for free from Google and Ap­ple’s app stores.

Re­cently, Sakay’s de­vel­oper team re­leased a com­pli­men­tary app called SakayHalfw­ay, which sug­gests the near­est meet­ing point be­tween two lo­ca­tions. Aside from al­low­ing users to meet half­way, the in-app also sug­gests nearby restau­rants, malls, ho­tels and other es­tab­lish­ments where users can meet.

Another travel-re­lated app is Sampa for hail­ing mo­tor­cy­cle taxis. The pro­gram is a com­muter’s op­tion to Angkas, JoyRide and Move It ride-hail­ing apps. Un­for­tu­nately, the Metropoli­tan Manila De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (MMDA) has warned Sampa rid­ers they are not au­tho­rized to con­vey pas­sen­gers.

MMDA Traf­fic chief Bong Ne­brija said Sampa is colo­rum be­cause it was not ap­proved by reg­u­la­tors and was not part of a pi­lot test for mo­tor­cy­cle taxi-hail­ing apps con­ducted by a gov­ern­ment tech­ni­cal work­ing group. Ne­brija warned that Sampa rid­ers would be tick­eted if they are caught serv­ing com­muters. The fine for a colo­rum mo­tor­cy­cle taxi is P6,000.

Au­thor­i­ties are very strict on colo­rum pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles be­cause their safety is un­ver­i­fied and their op­er­a­tors don’t pro­vide in­sur­ance cov­er­age to pas­sen­gers in case of an ac­ci­dent. Out­law­ing colo­rum mo­tor­cy­cle taxis is also valid since the two-wheeler is the most ac­ci­dent-prone trans­port in the Philip­pines.

Based on the records of MMDA’s Traf­fic Engi­neer­ing Cen­ter-Road Safety Unit, a to­tal 26,652 mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers in Metro Manila fig­ured in a road crash in 2018, 21 per­cent more than in 2017. The Land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice, for its part, ranks mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dents as the ninth lead­ing cause of death among Filipinos.

If peo­ple are meet­ing in a place sug­gested by Sakay and want a ride go­ing there but not through Sampa for safety rea­sons, maybe an app that can iden­tify ha­bal-ha­bal (mo­tor­bike back rid­ing) rid­ers should be de­vel­oped. The app can be called Sem­plang, which is the Filipino slang for crash just to stress the health risk of rid­ing a colo­rum mo­tor­cy­cle taxi.

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