The local government of San Mateo, Rizal announced that starting February 5, 2024, they will begin apprehending electric bicycles (e-bikes), tricycles, and pedicabs seen using national highways in the area, according to a report by GMA News Online.
The goal of this new policy is to reduce traffic congestion during rush hour periods, when vehicle volumes on roads are at their highest.
Drivers of e-bikes that are apprehended will be fined ₱2,500, while tricycle drivers face fines of ₱2,500 for the first two violations, with revocation of their franchise permit occurring after a third apprehension. While some drivers support the ban, hoping it will ease traffic flows, others disagree with the policy.
One affected tricycle driver said the ban will negatively impact their livelihood, as their franchise area includes access to a national highway, preventing them from transporting passengers along that route.
In addition to driver concerns, there are worries that the policy will make commutes more difficult for groups like school children and senior citizens. However, the municipal administrator for San Mateo, Henry Desiderio, has stated that their office will work to verify claims from tricycle drivers regarding the areas covered by their franchises. He also mentioned exceptions may be made for cases involving senior citizens, persons with disabilities, or emergency medical situations.