The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is pushing for the implementation of a unified fare structure for transportation network companies (TNCs).
The LTFRB eyes conducting a hearing to discuss the petitions filed by both Uber and Grab for fare increases amid the recent series of oil price hikes and higher excise taxes under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
“We propose sa kanila: Since halos pareho yung hinihingi niyong fare increase, combine na lang natin ito into one hearing. Let the government now do the fare structure for the TNCs. Bahala na kayo sa mga promos and incentives ninyo. (We are proposing to them: Since you are asking for almost similar fare increases, we just combine these into one hearing. Let the government now do the fare structure for the TNCs. We let them do their promos and incentives),” LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said in a radio interview Thursday.
The LTFRB official said both Uber and Grab have expressed their willingness to undergo a single hearing for their fare petitions.
“We want a fare structure that is good for the riding public and at the same time that we may be able to sustain the viability of the TNVS (transportation network vehicle services),” Lizada said.
Grab welcomed the proposed unified fare structure for TNCs, as long as it is flexible enough to sustain their operations.
“We’re OK with the unified fare structure, but it has to have the flexibility. The fare should have a range of minimum and maximum per kilometer. The dynamic pricing scheme must still be implemented,” Grab spokesperson Leo Gonzales said in a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
“Having one single rate will defeat the purpose of making use of technology in making the booking and paying for the efficient rides,” he added.
The ridesharing companies use a dynamic pricing scheme on their fares, based on various factors, such as traffic, rider and driver profile, time of day and number of active drivers at a particular time.
They also offer incentives and promos as a marketing and business strategy to attract more riders to avail of their services.
Grab had earlier filed its petition, asking that their fares be increased, in addition to the base rate of PHP40, from a rate of PHP10-PHP14 per kilometer to PHP11-PHP15 per kilometer and its time charge increasing to PHP2.10 from the current PHP2 per minute rate.
On the other hand, Uber is seeking for an increase of its fare from PHP5 per kilometer to PHP12 per kilometer.
The LTFRB has recently increased the common supply base of TNVS units to 66,750 nationwide.
The LTFRB based this on various factors, such as unserved demand, number coding scheme, and churning rate or the number of inactive drivers for the past few months. The supply base figure will be reviewed every three months. (PNA)