The Ugly Truth about MMDA’s e-Bike Ban

The Ugly Truth about MMDA’s e-Bike Ban

The MMDA, has announced that it will implement its MMDA Regulation 24-022, or the prohibition of e-bikes, e-trikes, tricycles, pedicabs, pushcarts, and kuligligs from traversing national roads, circumferential roads, and radial roads in Metro Manila on April 15, which was moved to tomorrow, April 17.

MMDA Acting Chairman Don Artes says that these are just implementations of previously released DILG memos banning the use of three-wheeled vehicles along major roads, in addition to a seemingly increasing number of accidents involving e-bikes and e-trikes in Metro Manila. According to the agency, there had been 907 accidents involving e-Bikes and e-Trikes in 2023 alone.

“We will just enforce this prohibition because of the increasing number of accidents involving e-bikes, e-trikes, and e-scooters. We will not wait for these figures to go higher and the situation to worsen,” he said.

Despite MMDA’s insistence to strictly enforce the policy, we think that it’s unfair to ban ALL forms of e-bikes and e-trikes from traversing national roads. Electric Mobility advocate Tim Vargas thinks that MMDA’s policies across all e-bikes are unfair. Vargas’ first reason is that the law clearly states that Light Electric Vehicles (those weighing 50kg and below) do not need to be registered, provided that they only pass through Bike lanes that are present on National and Barangay Roads.


While Vargas does agree that EVs that weigh 50kg and above should be registered and require users to have a driver’s license, he points out that MMDA blaming e-bikes and e-trikes as the main source of accidents is unfair.

Using MMDA’s own Metro Manila Accident Reporting and Analysis System (MMARAS) as the source, Vargas points out that accidents involving e-bikes only make up 2.53% of accidents in 2021–and that figure was lower at 2.05% in 2022. The majority of vehicles involved in accidents are still cars and motorcycles–both being required to be registered and require drivers to have a license.

There may be no one-size-fits-all solution to resolve this, but Vargas has reiterated that the MMDA needs to have more thorough studies regarding the effects of e-bikes and e-trikes on roads. To further support that, Vargas adds that compared to 14 years ago when e-bikes and e-trikes were nonexistent, traffic was worse and the same goes for accidents.

To the credit of electric kick scooters (EKS), Vargas explained that at its peak, there were around 25,000 EKS users, with 44% of them being former car users for their 5-10km commutes. The use of EKS lessened the number of cars on the road by 11,000, which in effect helps reduce traffic congestion. “If we give people [a] better option, they switch for being car-dependent with their 5-10km trips by using other mobility options,” Vargas explained.

In our editorial regarding requiring e-bikes to be registered, we still think that the root of the problem is the lack of knowledge of road rules and etiquette. This is more evident with motorcycles, which are more often spotted being reckless on the road compared to e-bikes–just scroll through practically every single moto vlog on Facebook, and you get our point. 

E-bike registration is also falling behind compared to vehicle or motorcycle registration, as the LTO does not have any written memorandum about any e-vehicle registration despite eyeing mandatory registration. If they do, their offices do not have any idea about it as most people are being directed to Local Government Units for registration. We’ve asked several extension and main offices on their Facebook pages and they do not have any idea on eBike and eTrike registration.

While we’re all up for regulating e-bikes and e-trikes, the MMDA has to have more thorough studies on how these vehicles affect traffic and road safety. They already have the data at hand, and it’s a matter of them carefully studying them before they make major decisions like completely banning them from major roads.

*with additional reporting from Felix Velasco.

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