With the proliferation of non-motorized transport (NMT) as public transport, there are questions raised pertaining to their regulation or management. Perhaps most pedicab, padyak, sikad or trisikad services around the country a regulated in some way. I use the term “some way” since there will always be either or both formal and informal rules for these services to be provided and patronized by people. These rules or regulations include the setting of pedicab fares that are most likely based on travel distance though not necessarily similar in structure to those of buses and jeepneys. Pedicab fares are practically similar to those for tricycles in that they operate within areas or zones. The rough locations of an origin and destination (i.e., rough distance between origins and destinations or distances between zones) would be the basis for fares.
Private exclusive residential subdivisions or villages would have their own homeowners’ or residents’ associations. These will likely have a say in tricycle or pedicab regulations. Otherwise, many would probably have the power to restrict or prevent tricycles from entering and operating within the subdivision or village. Most if not all tricycles are organized as Tricycle Operators and Drivers Associations (TODA) and so might have some say or bargaining power when dealing with barangays or associations where many operators or drivers may be residing. In the case of pedicabs, there are also pedicab associations with similar compositions where operators or owners of cabs are residents of an area or village. In well-organized subdivisions, however, the associations hold sway over pedicab operators and drivers and enforce rules through contracted, private security staff.
Pedicab rules are not very complicated. In fact, the rules can be provided or posted for every cab such as the example shown in the following photo. I took this as I was riding a pedicab to get home one afternoon.
In the laminated reminder (paalala) to passengers, the fares as set with respect to the phases of the subdivision, which serve as zones of operation for pedicabs. There is a daytime rate, a nighttime rate and even rates for when there’s flooding along the streets! Penalties for pedicab drivers violating the rules are stated at the bottom of the announcement with four offenses resulting in a total ban of the driver. I assume the ban is also enforced by security and is aided by the fact that all drivers are issued IDs by the village homeowners association. In our neighborhood, the number of pedicabs operating at late nighttime to the early hours of the morning are regulated and there is a list of drivers providing services during these times of the day. This was a measure passed years ago in part to address the lack of public transport during the nighttime but more so to combat burglaries that involved pedicab drivers who might have become familiar with the routines of residents.
These rules can easily be replicated and implemented elsewhere as long as residents are able to organize themselves. Perhaps in other cases they would also need to coordinate with barangay officials in residential areas where there is no exclusivity like that of a gated subdivision. That way, the rights and interests of passengers are well represented and can be articulated more effectively with respect to tricycle and pedicab associations who might just be exercising too much of their prerogative on passengers. After all, the interest and rights of passengers including their safety should be the priority here as in all other public transport because these are services being provided, and not just any business where revenue seems to be the only end.