end of the tricycle

The end of the Tricycle is near

Is this the start of the end of the tricycle?

In 2018 many municipalities announced that they are planning to replace or ban the tricycle.

Metro Manila Council to ban tricycles being used as a school service

In June of 2018, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced they want Metro Manila Council to ban the use of tricycles as school service. They cited the safety of children as the reason for this.

Tricycles are being phased out on Boracay Island

Malay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling issued Executive Order No. 007-2018 which means the Malay Transportation Office is required to phase out tricycles on the island. The reason behind this is to reduce pollution and traffic congestion. This was the end of the tricycle in Boracay.

Quezon City is looking to gradually phase out Tricycles

In September 2018 Quezon City Government announced plans to replace the 25,000 tricycles in the city with more modern electronic models.

Elmo San Diego the director of Quezon city Department of Public Order and Safety said “This project, is continuing until we change all of our conventional tricycles. The sooner the better for everyone.”

Manila City Mayor announced Tricycles to be phased out.

End of the tricycle in Mania: Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada said tricycles will no longer be seen on the streets of Manila. He said, “we want Manila to be the e-trike capital of the Philippines and to make Manila a green city.”

It does not affect my area?

Don’t believe it, what starts in Manila quickly spreads to other provinces.

The public has had enough of tricycles and is starting to see there are better alternatives, and while your local government might not have announced the phasing out of tricycles, you can be sure it is something they are looking into. What you can be sure of is the end of the tricycle is coming.

Tricycles cause congestion

9 times out of 10 if you are stuck in a queue of slow-moving traffic you can bet a tricycle is at the front of it causing the delay.

You might think that wider roads would cure the problem of slow-moving tricycles, but it only helps a little bit.

I am not sure if it is down to the lack of knowledge of the rules of the road or just down to the drivers simply not caring, but even on 2 or 3 lane roads tricycles still cause delays by incorrect lane use. It is common for them to sit in the overtaking lanes doing 30kph, hogging 2 lanes or driving 2 or 3 abreast.

Tricycles and road safety

Most tricycles are not safe to start with as they undergo no safety tests, it seems many of the designers of them only think about making them move and fitting in passengers, safety seems something that is not conceded in the design, they rely on the brakes of the motorcycle that was only designed to stop a motorbike with 2 people.

There are only brakes on one side of a tricycle which means it pulls to the left when braking. How many videos have you seen where a tricycle seems to swerve across the road and hit oncoming traffic? The reason this happens is they touch the brakes, the motorcycle slows down but the sidecar keeps going at the same speed resulting in them going into oncoming traffic, often resulting in fatalities.

Ask yourself this, if you knew a car had its brakes disabled on one side would you get in it? No, you would not, but this is exactly what you are doing every time you ride in a tricycle.

Pedestrian safety and the tricycle

As for pedestrian safety, it is not given a thought, the wheel on the right side of the sidecar is a real hazard to pedestrians as the gape between the wheel and the body is a perfect size to catch a pedestrian’s leg and drag them along the road.

Passenger Safety and Comfort

More than once I have had tricycle drivers pull away while I still have one foot on the ground, I presume that is because the driver can not see when the customer has fully got into the sidecar. Luckily I am big and was able to use my strength to stop the tricycle pulling away, if it was someone smaller there is no doubt it would have resulted in a broken leg.

As for comfort most tricycles give very little comfort, it is common to bang your head on the roof, be unable to sit straight, have sharp bits of metal poking into you and poor suspension giving you a very bumpy ride.

end of the tricycle
By Sir Mervs from Metro Sta. Rosa, Philippines – daily overload.., CC BY 2.0,

A total ban on Tricycles has to come

Because of all the things above, there is no doubt that a total ban will come and it is not far away. You can be sure your local government is already talking about this, as will be LTO, LTFRB, MMDA etc.

Protests by drivers might delay it happening but it will happen because like most drivers the people who make the laws are sick of being delayed by tricycles.

Customers also in this day and age expect the vehicles they ride in to be safe and comfortable, millions of Filipinos go abroad and work and see that in other countries they would not put up with such poor public transport.

Will a Tricycle ban affect imported Three Wheelers?

The Bajaj RE, Piaggio Ape and the TVS King might well find themselves getting banned.

While they are not legally tricycles some of them have been promoted incorrectly as being tricycles.

Many of them are even being registered as a motorcycle with sidecar, not sure how they work that out as there is no sidecar.

If these practices are not changed and you are a proud owner of an imported three-wheeler such as the Bajaj RE, Piaggio Ape or the TVS King, you might soon find yourself with a vehicle that you can’t use and can’t sell.

We believe if things carry on how they are and they keep pushing these imported three-wheelers incorrectly as tricycles they might well get phased out when tricycles do.

Should imported three-wheelers be included in the phase-out?

Philippines law states that a tricycle is a motorcycle with a sidecar, so these imported three-wheelers should not be affected by the ban.

There is no reason for them to be included in a ban. They are not slow they can do 80kph which is the national speed limit in the Philippines, so will not cause congestion and the long lines of traffic which form behind tricycles.

All 3 models have passed strict European safety standards.

So no they should not be included in the phasing out of tricycles, but if things stay the way they are these imported safe, fast three-wheelers could be phased out along with tricycle.

United Threewheelers Club Philippines is a Facebook group formed to try to stop this from happening and ensure you will be able to use your three-wheeler for many years to come. They see these modern three-wheelers as a step forward, which there is no doubt they are.

They provide comfort and safety to passengers, they do not cause congestion and they conform to Euro 4 emission standards.

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