inDrive pauses operations to fix fare concerns

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Ride-hailing giant inDrive, touted as the potential competitor of Grab Philippines, has suspended its operations in the country to address issues raised by the government regarding its fare system.

In a statement, inDrive announced that it is pausing its services in the Philippines in compliance with the suspension order slapped by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

inDrive said suspending the business would allow it to resolve the issues raised by the LTFRB, particularly the anomaly on the fare metric that the company is using.

Last Tuesday LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz III directed the suspension of RL Soft Corp., the parent of inDrive, until it complies with fare rates for transport network vehicle services. inDrive has been given 15 days to abide by the fare system mandated by the LTFRB.

inDrive has received complaints filed with the LTFRB regarding its policy that allow its drivers to haggle the price of their services. The LTFRB believes that fare haggling jeopardizes both drivers and passengers as it violates the principle of transparency that transport providers must uphold.

Even before inDrive entered the Philippines, the company, which is headquartered in California, is known for granting drivers and passengers the power to haggle prices through the app.

One of the propositions of inDrive is that passengers can suggest a fare for their ride, and drivers can accept or decline this, with the option to counteroffer.

inDrive believes that its fare system promotes flexibility, allowing both parties to find a halfway for their respective preferences and requirements.

The company entered the Philippine market in December last year, launching services in five cities, namely, Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo. As expected, inDrive focused first on driver recruitment to build up its fleet nationwide.

inDrive was scheduled to offer its services in Metro Manila in the first quarter of this year. However, it has yet to confirm whether this will push through in light of the suspension order it received.

In its decision to enter the Philippines, inDrive wants to disrupt, if not challenge, the dominance of Grab over the mobility market in the country.

inDrive serves is one of the biggest taxi apps in the world, operating in more than 46 countries, including Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

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