Tricycles in the Philippines: Tagbilaran City's 3-Passenger Cabs

This article is the first of a series of articles about tricycle designs in the Philippines. It is interesting to note that almost every place in the Philippines have their own unique tricycle design. These designs have stories to tell as well.

Tagbilaran City's Tricycles

Tagbilaran City's tricycles are relatively small and can only carry a maximum of 3 adult passengers as regulated by local ordinance. This is unique because most tricycles in the country are designed so that these passenger vehicles can carry more people and maximize profit. 

In my recent visit to Bohol, I chanced upon a queue of tricycles waiting for passengers at the Tagbilaran City port. As I arrived very early in the morning, I had much time to take some pictures of the tricycles and converse with some of the tricycle drivers to know more about Tagbilaran City's tricycles. Only a handful of tricycles are allowed to fetch passengers from the port. Tricycles that have access to the Tagbilaran Port must be members of the Tagbilaran Port Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TPTODA). TPTODA membership only numbers around 50 members more or less.

Tricycle Fares in Tagbilaran

Being a small city, tircycles are the main mode of transportation in Tagbilaran City. As of this posting, the minimum fare was PHP 7.00 per person for the first kilometer and an additional PHP 1.00 per person for each succeeding kilometer. Most drivers though charge a minimum of PHP 8.00. Moreover, when the tricycle is hailed from the port, the usual rate is PHP 10.00 per person for the first kilometer and an additional PHP 3.00 per person for every succeeding kilometer. For longer distances, one needs to pakyaw the tricycle, meaning, when travelling alone, one has to pay for the other 2 seats. An example is when one rides from Tagbilaran's city center to the Island City Mall in Dao, where the ride costs PHP 30. If you insist on the right fare however, the ride from the city center to ICM should only cost PHP 20.

Tricycles are also among the cheapest mode of transportation from Tagbilaran City to Panglao's famous Alona Beach. Tricycle trips from Tagbilaran City to Alona Beach costs PHP 300 one way.

Tagbilaran City's Tricycle Design

The unique feature of Tagbilaran City's tricycle design is its size, The passenger cab can only seat 2 adults while one passenger can ride shotgun at the back of the driver.

The front of Tagbilaran City's tricyle features a windshield that extends from the driver's side to the passenger cab. Displayed prominently on the front of the passenger cab is the unit's local registration number. On top of the windshield is a signboard that indicates whether the unit is for hire or is on a special trip.

Tricycles in Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines
a tricycle in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines

The back of the tricycle features a space for cargo. The unit's MTOP number is painted here. The back portion also displays the unit's local registration number. The motorcycle's plate number is displayed at the back of the motorcycle itself. Most, if not all,  tricycles in Bohol also have a biblical quote painted on the passenger cab extension extending to the motorcycle unit (back of the driver).

Tricycles in Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines
Close up view of the back

Tricycles in Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines

On the right side of the tricycle, the unit's local registration number is again prominently displayed along with the registered business name of the unit. Most tricycle operators in Bohol have a fleet of tricycles they rent out to drivers. Once again, the unit's local registration number is displayed prominently from inside the passenger cab, right across the passenger seat.

Tricycles in Tagbilaran City Bohol Philippines
Right side view

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