LTFRB starts probe of Grab’s unauthorized travel charge
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday ordered Grab to disclose when it started implementing a P2 per minute travel charge and the number of monthly trips it has made since the restructured fare scheme took effect.
However, it did not order the transport network company (TNC) to suspend the collection of the additional fee which, according to Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles, has so far cost Grab riders around P3.2 billion.
LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra III told reporters that in one of their technical working group meetings last year, there were “discussions” about Grab’s plan to collect a P2 per minute travel charge although the TNC did not inform them when it was implemented.
Asked if that meant that Grab had been illegally charging passengers, Delgra said he could not yet say for certain since “we have not decided on that yet.”
During the initial hearing on Tuesday on Grab’s alleged illegal fare structure, Delgra asked why it “unilaterally” amended its fare structure.
In reply, Grab cited Department of Transportation and Communications’ Order No. 2015-011 which allowed TNCs to set the fares to be collected but “subject to oversight from the LTFRB in cases of abnormal disruptions of the market.”
Grab defends move
Grab Country Head Brian Cu maintained that they “faithfully complied” with the LTFRB order and noted that there were no directives then against the collection of a per minute travel charge.
He added that the reason they restructured their fare scheme was to let their drivers make driving a “longtime career and not just a transit form of employment.” – By: Jovic Yee
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