How is MOTOBEN, a program that seeks to improve the lives of motorcyclists, doing?
The program for the improvement of the living conditions of the motoconchistas, promotion of road and citizen safety, and protection of the environment (MOTOBEN) is implemented by the Ozama Metropolitan Region Directorate of the Institute of Transportation (INTRANT) and the National Motorcycle Directorate by Margarita Rodríguez and has benefited almost 40,000 motoconchistas since the beginning of the government of President Luis Abinader.
Margarita Rodriguez, creator, and executor of MOTOBEN, has identified the objectives of the program: 1. And for this it is necessary to formalize them through a national registry. Contribute to road and citizen safety. 3. Contribute to the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change.
According to Mrs. Rodriguez, the program was born out of concern for the living conditions of such a numerous, forgotten, and vulnerable micro sector as motorcycle taxi drivers, men (and some women), who risk their lives, day after day, to make a living for themselves and their families, through an essential service for the mobility of hundreds of thousands of citizens.
She pointed out that another of the concerns that led her to conceive this program is the high incidence of this trade in the security, both of the citizens and of the motorcycle taxi drivers themselves, since as is well known, motorcycles are the vehicle most used by robbers, many of whom pose as motorcycle taxi drivers to commit their crimes.
Rodriguez also said he was concerned about the fact that 73% of the victims of traffic accidents in the country are motorcycles, a situation that results in the loss of hundreds of lives, most of them young people, and on many occasions mutilations that imply a deterioration in the quality of life of the injured motorcycle taxi drivers, of their families who have to assume health expenses and low or no income due to their inability to work. Apart from the high cost that the accidents imply for the Dominican State.
She explained that the creation of a formal registry of all micro transport workers, by MOTOBEN, contributes to the reduction of the incidence of both citizen and personal insecurity, since they will receive a card that will identify them and will limit the occurrence of motorcycle assaults.
Regarding accidents, the program foresees the implementation of permanent campaigns to raise awareness and orient workers on the respect of driving and traffic regulations, which of course includes the use of helmets.
The also director of the metropolitan area of INTRANT informed that for the implementation of MOTOBEN, a survey of each motorist stop was made to determine: how many motorists there are, where they live, particular situations that may affect their quality of life, and with this information to have a bank of reliable information on the sector and promote their formalization as “micro transport”, under the slogan “Formalize me with the State improves my quality of life”.
The official considered that the objective of improving the lives of the motoconchistas has advanced greatly, since through the programs: gasoline bonds, family basket bonds, the National Health Insurance program (SeNaSa), and access to government housing projects, of which 95 motoconchistas have benefited so far, almost 40,000 motorcyclists have been impacted.
Likewise, he stated that it has been possible to make great progress with the objective of contributing to the safety of the motorcycle taxi drivers as well as the citizens, since the existence of a true and reliable registry of the motorcyclists who work at the different stops, and the fact that they are duly identified with the official cards of the citizen program reduces to a minimum the possibility of criminals infiltrating, posing as motoconchistas, endangering the lives of the motorcyclists themselves as well as those of passengers and citizens in general.
Rodriguez specified that progress has also been made with the objective of promoting the protection of the environment to combat climate change, with the financing that the government has made through the National Council for the Promotion and Support of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (PROMIPYME), of electric motorcycles at a rate of 12% per year.
“This will allow motorcycle taxi drivers to save RD$10,500.00 per month on the purchase of fuel. Savings that can be used in the payment of financing installments,” she emphasized.
She added that the transformation of the motorcycle fleet will contribute to protecting the health and safety of the motorcycle taxi drivers, since, once they acquire the electric motorcycle, they are given full insurance, and a geolocator, to be able to find the motorcycle, in case of theft or any anomalous situation, which could endanger their lives.
Rodriguez said she was satisfied with the achievements of the program for the improvement of the living conditions of the motorcycle taxi drivers, promotion of road and citizen safety, and protection of the environment (MOTOBEN), both for the impact of the improvement of the lives of almost 40,000 motorcyclists, as well as the decrease in the rate of accidents involving motorcycle taxi drivers, which have been decreasing.
Finally, Rodriguez thanked the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader for his full support of this initiative, as well as the different mayors, among them: Sto Dgo, North, West, East, Alcarrizos, Samaná, Salcedo who have signed agreements in which they commit to support the implementation of MOTOBEN, as the highest authority of the local governments.