LTFRB: Higher fares unlikely with Grab’s takeover of Uber

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With Grab soon the dominant ride-sharing app in the country, commuters should not worry about exorbitant rates as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it would continue to monitor and check the transport network company’s (TNC) compliance with its fare structure.

On Monday, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada allayed fears that Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia operations would result in an undue fare hike and a monopoly of the ride-hailing industry.

Farfetched scenarios

Both scenarios were unlikely as the LTFRB was familiar with Grab’s formula in computing its fares while there were three other TNCs seeking accreditation with the transport board, Lizada said.

Grab has a pending fare hike petition with the LTFRB to cushion the impact of the government’s TRAIN law.

While it will retain its P40 base fare, it has sought an increase in its current per kilometer rate of P10-P14 to P11-P15. It also wants its per-minute rate of P2 to be raised to P2.10. The LTFRB will hear Grab’s petition on April 3.

In a statement sent to its users on Monday, Uber said it would transfer its services to the Grab app by April 8, adding that commuters could still use its app in more than 80 countries where it continued to operate.

Lizada said that Uber drivers need not worry about the transfer as the franchise issued by the LTFRB to app-based drivers were now generic.

“Unlike before, it was exclusive to either Grab or Uber. With the system in place now, any new TNC is welcome as long as they are accredited by the LTFRB and they pass the necessary documents for their respective accreditations,” she explained.

All incentives given to Uber drivers “will be addressed and honored by Grab,” Lizada added.

Grab’s assurance

According to Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu, their acquisition of Uber meant that passengers and drivers alike could be assured of “improved ride-sharing services.”

“With a larger fleet of drivers on our platform, passenger transportation needs will be met faster. Passengers will get to enjoy shorter waiting times, more convenient and affordable rides through one platform,” he said.

Sen. Win Gatchalian asked the Philippine Competition Commission to keep a close eye on “any possible anticompetitive practices that will take advantage of this situation.”

“We believe that this buyout is not favorable to Filipino commuters as it will lessen choices for all of us,” he said in a statement. — By: Jovic Yee, With a report from Christine O. Avebaño



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