MMDA, other agencies to regulate e-bikes and other e-vehicles on main roads

Government agencies to consolidate and harmonize rules for e-vehicles.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and other government agencies are set to lay out the framework of regulations for the use of electric vehicles such as e-trikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters that are proliferating on major thoroughfares.

MMDA Acting Chairman Atty. Don Artes said they have convened with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila to discuss the matter.

Among the plans are the registration of e-vehicle units and the requirement for users to obtain licenses.

“Nakakalungkot na kahit menor-de-edad ay nakikitang nagmamaneho ng e-vehicles sa national highways habang ang marami ay hindi man lang nagsusuot ng helmets o protective gears,” said Artes.

(It is saddening that even minors are seen driving e-vehicles on national highways while many are not wearing helmets or protective gears.)

He added that it is time to regulate e-bikes, e-trikes, and similar vehicles that have become a cause of concern for the government.

“Oras na para magkaroon ng regulasyon sa mga e-bikes, e-trikes, at mga katulad nito na nagiging cause of concern na ng pamahalaan. Hindi lamang sila nagpapabagal sa daloy kundi nagdadala rin ng panganib sa mga driver, pasahero at pedestrians,” Artes adds.

(It is time to have regulations on e-bikes, e-trikes, and the like that are becoming a cause of concern for the government. They are not only slowing down the traffic flow but also posing risks to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.)

Artes said they will coordinate with the DOTr and other agencies to craft a uniform policy that will ensure the safety and orderliness of e-vehicles on the road.

“We will consolidate and harmonize all existing rules and regulations, as well as ongoing programs of the LGUs and the national government concerning e-vehicles,” said Artes.

The LTO Administrative Order No. 2021-039, or the Consolidated Guidelines in the Classification, Registration, and Operation of All Type of Electric Motor Vehicles, currently permits e-bicycles and e-mopeds with two wheels and a max speed of 50kph to run without registration or a driver’s license.

Riders of electric two-wheelers belonging to L1a category (those that have a top speed of 25kph) are required to wear a bicycle helmet, while those in the L1b category (those that go up to 50kph) are required to wear a motorcycle helmet. Currently, riders of both L1a and L1b categories (e-bikes, e-moped, and light e-scooters) do not require driver’s licenses and registration. L1a and L1b category e-vehicles cannot be used as public transportation vehicles either.

Moreover, L1a category e-bikes are allowed on designated bike lanes and similar lanes in local barangay roads and are allowed to “cross national and other types of roads at the intersections.” L1b category light e-scooters are allowed to “go beyond barangay roads, but only on the edge of the road.” They can also “cross main thoroughfares and national roads intersecting with allowed roads.”

The MMDA and other agencies are expected to finalize the regulations for e-vehicles in the coming months.

Image credit: PNA photo by Yancy Lim

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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