Gatchalian urges LTFRB to review Grab PH fare matrix

Robie de Guzman   •   December 17, 2019   •   567

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is asking the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to re-assess the fare matrix of ride-hailing company Grab Philippines amid reports of sudden price surge.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Gatchalian said he wants to see a logical basis why the ride-hailing firm imposes such high fare rates and for the LTFRB “to make sure rules on price surging is being followed.”

“The high fare is killing the festive mood of many Filipino commuters. We don’t want to let Grab play the Grinch who stole Christmas from Juan de la Cruz because of high fare,” he said.

The LTFRB in August approved the fare matrix, which allows Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) companies to charge a flag down rate of up to P40 for car sedans, up to P50 for premium sport utility vehicles (SUV), and up to P30 for hatchbacks or sub-compact vehicles.  

The Board also allowed a P15 additional charge per kilometer for sedans, P18 for SUVs, and P13 for hatchbacks, aside from the P2 charge per minute of travel. It also allowed TNVS firms to double their per kilometer and per minute charge through surge pricing.

The lawmaker noted Grab’s earlier explanation that it is currently working on a “very limited number of drivers to serve exponentially high demand.”

But Gatchalian wants the company to explain why it has imposed surge pricing “even in the wee hours of the morning when the demand is low and there are fewer vehicles on the road.”

In view of this issue, Gatchalian cited the importance of having real competition in the ride-hailing industry to force Grab to lower its rate and provide more options for commuters.

“Without competition in the hail-riding industry, our poor commuters will always be at the mercy of high fares,” he said.

PH to use cashless payment system in taxis to further curb COVID-19 spread – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it is working on forging partnerships with various digital payment providers for the implementation of cashless or contactless transactions in taxis and Transport Network Service Vehicles (TNVS) as part of the “new normal” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, the DOTr said it has tapped payment platforms to help equip taxis and TNVS with scan-to-pay systems to limit direct physical contact between drivers and passengers, thus further curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Taxis and Transport Network Companies (TNC) are allowed to operate in areas placed under general community quarantine at reduced capacity and with strict health and safety protocols.

“Cashless and contactless payment scheme will now be part of the ‘new normal’ in the public transportation system,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

The DOTr said one of the first to tie-up with the government for this purpose is GCash.

Under the partnership, GCash will help enable taxi drivers to accept digital payments through the Scan To Pay app where GCash users only need to scan the unique QR code of the taxi unit they are riding in paying for their metered fares.

GCash is also offering the GCash PowerPay+ solution to taxi operators where they can send out salaries, allowances, and commissions through to their employees, or members nationwide, the DOTr said.

“GCash strongly supports the government’s call for the use of mobile payments to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces such as paper money,” GCash Head of Payments Jovit Bajar said.

Authorities are also in talks with other payment platforms PayMaya, Squidpay and Beep, among others, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said in the same statement.

“We had consultations with these providers over the weekend. We are encouraging these digital payment providers to partner with taxi operators and TNCs to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spread,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said.

“On the part of the TNCs such as Hirna, Grab and Owto, they are already accepting cashless transactions,” he added.

LTFRB allows taxi, ride-hailing apps to resume operations under ‘new normal’ rules

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 12, 2020

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will allow taxis and transport network vehicle services (TNVS) to resume their operations on May 16.

On Monday (May 11), LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said taxis and TNVS should adhere to the “new normal” guidelines in order to be allowed to resume their operations

The guidelines include the implementation of a “no mask, no ride” policy, passengers will only be limited to a maximum of three, and the installation of acetate barriers for taxis and other public transportation.

“The primordial consideration is public health,” he said.

Delgra also said that the agency is encouraging the use of cashless transactions to lessen the risk of passengers and drivers getting infected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

“We are not making it mandatory but we are strongly encouraging the use of electronic payment scheme,” he said.

READ: Expect longer queues at MRT-3 under the new normal

The rail transits in the country already prepared their own protocols under the ‘new normal’ which also includes limiting the number of passengers per train. AAC

Ruta ng bus sa EDSA, babawasan simula May 18 – LTFRB

Robie de Guzman   •   May 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Babawasan na ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang ruta ng mga bus na dumadaan sa EDSA simula sa May 18.

Ayon kay LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, simula sa susunod na linggo ay gagawin na lamang 29 ang kasalukuyang 96 routes na dinadaanan ng halos 4,600 city bus units sa Metro Manila.

Ayon kay Delgra, mas mapapabilis nito ang oras ng biyahe at madaragdagan din ang bilang ng mga magagawang biyahe ng mga bus.

Aniya, ang ipinatutupad na community quarantine ay nagbigay ng pagkakataon sa mga otoridad na i-rationalize ang land-based public travel sa Kalakhang Maynila.

“Ang nangyari po, out of 96 routes, 61 of these passes through EDSA. Ibig sabihin po nito, it does not start or end at EDSA… It passes through EDSA and that’s the reason why it’s a daily picture that we see na yung traffic congestion lalong-lalo na sa mga buses, makikita natin sa daan,” ani Delgra.

“We are looking at a system now where there would be a dedicated EDSA Bus Service, where all the other bus routes coming from wherever — north, south, southeast, southwest – will now converge into EDSA as the main corridor,” dagdag pa niya’

Paliwanag naman ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) na sa ilalim ng bagong sistema, magsisilbi na lamang “connector” ang EDSA at sa designated bus stops na lamang papayagang magbaba at magsakay ng mga pasahero.

“Hindi na rin po pupwedeng every one kilometer, hihinto tayo, no. Kailangan talaga strategic po ang ating paglalagyan na bus stops, para at least matuto talaga ang ating mga kababayan ng tamang disiplina,” ani Jojo Garcia, ang general manager ng MMDA.

Samantala, nanawagan ang LTFRB sa mga kumpanya na maglaan ng shuttle service para sa mga empleyado nitong papayagan nang bumalik sa trabaho sa mga susunod na araw.

Sa pamamagitan nito, sinabi ni Delgra na mas masisiguro ng mga kumpanya na maiibsan ang gastos sa pamasahe at makararating sa oras ang kanilang mga tauhan.

“From a public transport point of view, maiibsan ang pressure ng mga trabahante to take the public transport on the regular route. Kasi dedicated na ‘yung ibabyahe nila mula sa bahay papunta sa kanilang pinatatrabahuan,” ani Delgra.

Ang Metro Manila ay nasa ilalim ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) hanggang May 15. Sa ilalim nito, suspindido ang pasok sa mga opisina at paaralan pati na ang operasyon ng mga pampublikong sasakyan; kailangan ring manatili sa kani-kanilang tahanan ang mga taong hindi kabilang sa mga pinapayagang lumabas sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

Hindi pa tiyak kung aalisin o palalawigin ang ECQ sa Metro Manila pagkatapos ng May 15.

Ayon sa Malakanyang, pinag-uusapan pa nina Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte at ng mga miyembro ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases ang mga rekomendasyon ukol sa ECQ. Maaaring ilabas ang desisyon sa linggong ito. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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