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.