Grab warns of longer wait, surge hours
(The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ridesharing company Grab yesterday warned of longer waiting times and surge hours if the newest order of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) limiting the number of vehicles is implemented.

Leo Gonzales, Grab public affairs manager, said yesterday they plan to appeal LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2018-003, which establishes a common supply base of 45,000 transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units for all ridesharing companies.

“In all likelihood, the difficulty of getting rides would be more prevalent. Fares would also jack up, there will be longer surges. Now if the surge happens in peak hours, the chance it would happen all throughout the day would be normal because the supply is limited,” he said.  

Gonzales warned that thousands of Grab drivers would be affected by the cap, as there are more than 54,000 drivers who are registered with the transport network company (TNC). 

The new LTFRB memorandum is set to become effective on Feb. 3, or 15 days after its publication yesterday. 

The LTFRB memorandum sets up a “common supply base” of 45,000 vehicles in Metro Manila, another 500 units in Metro Cebu and 200 units in Pampanga. 

Gonzales said they are set “to appeal” the order before the board and will file the necessary petitions. 

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra defended the order, saying the number is based on data given by Grab and Uber. 

“Actual number of units booked anytime on the average is actually less than 45,000 per data provided by Grab and Uber,” he said in a text message. 

Uber declined to comment and said it is still studying the impact of the order on its operations.

Similar to Grab, Uber said it has also requested a meeting with the LTFRB. 

The LTFRB memo also mandated that only vehicles not older than three years old from date of manufacture shall be accepted.

Those who have valid certificate of public convenience, more commonly known as franchises, will be included in the common supply base.

LTFRB member Aileen Lizada, who resigned from her post as spokesperson yesterday, said there were only around 15,000 to 17,000 accredited TNVS in Metro Manila while the rest are colorum or unregistered. 

Of the 125,000 TNVS units registered with Grab and Uber, about 50 percent are considered “dual citizens” or operating under both TNCs.

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