Although it has agreed to reduce its surge pricing as requested by the government, ride-sharing app operator Uber Philippines has asked its partner drivers to write the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to make known of their opposition to the price cap.
Over the holidays, the LTFRB issued a warning to ride-sharing firms Uber and Grab after receiving complaints from commuters about exorbitant fares. This led Uber to lower its fare multiplier to 2.9 from 5.0, while Grab went down to 1.6 from 2.5.
Grab placed the cap on its rates from December 24, 2016 until January 30, 2017. Uber, meanwhile, implemented a limit on their price surge until January 15, 2017.
In a letter sent via e-mail, Uber urged its drivers to make their sentiments known to the LTFRB by writing or making a comment on the social media accounts of the government agency.
The local office of Uber said the surge pricing model is an important mechanism to ensure that commuters will be able to book a ride when they need it most, most especially during rush hours.
“We’re not in favor of capping or artificial manipulation of dynamic pricing as this will have adverse effect on drivers and riders,” the company said.
“For our partners like you, this could result in significant reduction in your income. There is also no incentive for you to drive when traffic is bad or when you’re already resting. If there are no drivers, the riders wouldn’t be able to book a ride,” it added.
The company said it tried to explain to LTFRB that tinkering with the surge pricing model will have a negative effect on the riding public. Unfortunately, the explanation fell on deaf ears, it said.
Thus, Uber said it is imploring the help of its partners to directly state their case to the LTFRB. “It is important for the LTFRB to hear your voice because you are the ones who provide the service to our riders,” it said.