Ride-sharing firm Grab Philippines is urging the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to increase the common supply base for transportation network vehicle services (TNVS) units to around 80,000 to meet the riding public’s growing demand.
This, as Grab welcomed the decision of the LTFRB to open applications for 10,000 new TNVS units to address the limited supply of vehicles at present.
“The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board should increase the TNVS common supply base in Metro Manila from 65,000 to 80,500 to be able to serve the current passenger demand. LTFRB?s decision to open 10,000 new vehicle slots is a step in the right direction towards resolving the current lack of supply on the road but it?s not going to be enough. Replacing the inactive vehicles in the masterlist would be an additional measure that could go a long way in improving TNC service,” Leo Gonzales, Grab public affairs head, said in a statement Tuesday, Aug. 28.
Currently, Grab receives an average of 600,000 passenger bookings daily but only 35,000 drivers are on the road to address the demand. Its allocation rate for ride bookings in Metro Manila is at 40 percent, which is the lowest in the Southeast Asian region.
“Supply is struggling to meet the massive demand from the riding public and only the LTFRB has the authority to address this,” Gonzales said.
“We urgently request the LTFRB to replace inactive vehicles with active vehicles ready to serve the riding public. We also appeal to the LTFRB to increase the common supply base to 80,000 vehicles (equivalent to 65,000 active vehicles) and review the demand quarterly consistent with their earlier pronouncements. This will help bring more passengers home and will allow new TNCs to scale,” he added.
The agency has started accepting the on-line registration of TNVS applications for new certificates of public convenience (CPC) not included in the master list through the LTFRB website on August 24.
It has likewise ordered all TNVS units included in the master list provided by transportation network companies to submit their applications and to secure the necessary provisional authority on or before August 31.
The agency has noted that there were fewer applications for new CPCs for TNVS despite its order for the resumption of their acceptance last March. It has prioritized applicants that were included in the master list submitted by Uber and Grab, which was the subject of an audit review during that time.
To date, the LTFRB has issued 13,816 units with provisional authority and 4,925 were issued with CPC.
The LTFRB has issued a memorandum last February setting the supply cap of TNVS units in Metro Manila at 65,000. Of the proposed 65,000 vehicle cap, 55,000 slots have been allocated to vehicles based the master list of the LTFRB.
Only 42,000 vehicles were left operating with Grab when Uber halted its operations in the country last March as not all vehicles were able to transfer from Uber. There are about 13,000 inactive vehicles on its system. — Aerol John Patena (PNA)