If you haven't noticed yet, the streets of Cebu is quickly being dominated by the increasingly ubiquitous motorbike drivers with blue shirt and helmet. Equipped with shiny new motorbikes and helmets, this new road "character" is the modernized "habal-habal", motorbike taxis that can take you basically anywhere you want in Cebu and Mactan islands. This is the famous Angkas, the Uber and Grab version of motorcycles.
|Angkas driver on his motorbike with rain cover. Image by amagnawa.|
A Need Long Felt
The success of Angkas is instantaneous especially when it started in Metro Maanila this year. With traffic jam almost anytime in the day, commuters are looking for ways to be in their appointments fast and on time. Motorbikes, unlike taxis can penetrate traffic jams and can help people travel faster.
Here in Cebu, Angkas met a similar welcome: success. And just like in Metro Manila, there's an increasing need for this service. The reason is ever worsening traffic condition in the city. The condition has worsened to a degree comparable to Manila about five years ago. I can tell you that because I came from Luzon and studied in Manila and frequently visits the place even though I'm already a resident of Cebu for a decade now.
I'm not sure where the word originally came from. I think it's from Cebu. When I arrived here in 2007, I quickly learned about this service: motorbikes that can take you to the mountain, a motorbike taxi. At that time, there is not much need for habal-habal in the city. Most of them serves in hard to reach places. For example, to reach Tops, which is literally on top of the mountain, you will need to ride a habal-habal. Otherwise, you need to pay double for a taxi.
And today, habal-habal service is on demand. With the rise of BPO companies and their increasing number of employees, the city streets are full of cars and jeepneys. Traffic condition has worsened to an unprecedented level. Add to that is the ever worsening floods caused mainly by drainage system that cannot keep up with the population growth along with so many new buildings. Habal-habal is on the rise.
The Advantages of Angkas over Habal-habal
Technology, if used properly, can really make things better. That is true with Angkas, habal-habal service that you can hail from the tip of your finger. Using a smartphone with the Angkas app installed on it, you can call the nearest free Angkas driver. Aside from that convenience, here are other advantages
- Transparency in pricing
- This one among others annoy me the most with regards to traditional habal-habal. They can jack up the price when they feel you desperately need their service. With Angkas, you can see the price and currently, the cost for Angkas service is significantly lower than habal-habal.
- With the app, you can tell who your driver is. You can even let your friends know where you are.
- Safety and insurance
- First, the equipment is new and clean. The drivers are professional and receives training for defensive driving. There are even rain coats available.
- In case of accidents, the passenger is insured covered by Angkas Inc.
If you want to know more about Angkas, you can visit their website at www.angkas.com and check our the FAQ section. You can download the Angkas app in both the App Store and Play Store.
|Angkas App in an iPhone.|