Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Grab PH to restore 2x price surge, seeks return of P2-per-minute charge

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed Grab Philippines to restore its price surge cap from 1.5 to 2 times the normal fare.

At the same time, the ride-hailing firm has filed a separate pleading before the regulatory body to lift the suspension of its P2-per-minute charge.

Photo credit: Facebook page of Grab PH

On Friday, April 20, the LTFRB granted Grab’s motion to reverse its earlier order for the price surge cap to be lowered to 1.5x. The order was issued last April 11 when the agency was still processing the applications of new TNCs (transport network companies).

With the approval of accreditation of three new TNCs — Hype Transport Systems, Hirna Mobility Solutions, and Go Lag — the LTFRB has deemed it proper to grant Grab?s plea.

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said Grab will be able to impose the 2x surge rate starting Monday, April 23.

Also on Friday, Grab Philippines filed a motion for reconsideration before the LTFRB, asking the board to lift the suspension of the P2-per-minute travel charge imposed on its riders.

Grab maintained that the travel duration rate is legal and in accordance with a 2015 order of the Department of Transportation that allows TNCs to set their own fare rates.

Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu said drivers would not earn a sustainable income and would be forced to quit their jobs as transport network vehicle services operators if the P2-per-minute charge is stopped, resulting in fewer vehicles for passengers.

?This will lead to longer waiting time for the riders, causing fare prices to increase drastically while other passengers from far locations may be left unallocated,? Cu added.

He said 80 percent of the travel duration charge goes to the driver while 20 percent is used for driver incentives and passenger promos.

Grab had presented its fare structure, including the P2-per-minute charge, in a technical working group meeting with the LTFRB in July 2017, after imposing the charge the previous month.

In its order dated April 18, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said the suspension stands as the board investigates the issue.

The board said there was no mention of any travel time rate, which Grab has been collecting, when it released its order on the fare structure of TNCs on Dec. 27, 2016.

What the December 2016 order stipulates is that TNCs, such as Grab, should impose a flagdown rate of P40, with an additional rate of P10 to P14 per km. — Aerol John Pate?a (PNA)


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