LTFRB appeals to Uber, Grab not to impose ‘price surges’ during Christmas season

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is appealing to transport network companies not to impose exorbitant fare hikes amid the expected increase in demand for their services during the holiday season.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III reiterated that the application for new franchises by transport network services (TNVS) such as Uber and Grab is still suspended pending review of existing guidelines amid reports of price surges when demand for rides exceeds the number of vehicles.

DOTC Department Order No. 2015-11 allows TNVS to determine their fares in line with efforts to encourage innovation in public transportation in order to increase mobility on major thoroughfares, boost travel time, improve the quality, sustainability and reliability of public transport services, and respond to the needs of the modern commuter.

The LTFRB chairman stated that Uber and Grab can submit their respective proposals on their rates and that the agency will determine if they are reasonable for the commuters.

"Transport network companies have stated that they are willing to submit to a level of regulation that includes the price and fare mechanism," Delgra stated in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the launch of 'Oplan Isnabero' as he challenged these companies to demonstrate their commitment to providing affordable and quality services for the benefit of passengers.

Meanwhile, Uber and Grab explained that their price surges are responsive to supply and demand for their services.

Uber said fare price surge only happens when demand is high and there are insufficient cars in the area. But as more cars are deployed on the roads, rates will go back to normal.

For its part, Grab stated that fare movements depend on several factors such as passenger demand, app usage, road conditions and traffic.

Operators of taxis and public utility vehicles (PUVs) have opposed the emergence of ride sharing apps citing they need to comply with certain requirements such as franchises, insurance coverage, among others, to be issued license plates and be treated as a common carrier. Moreover, they have complained over price surging as they are not allowed to apply it.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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