Grab urges LTFRB to increase cap on TNVS units

January 31, 2018 - 10:06 AM
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A Grab taxi at a passenger queue at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. (Reuters/File photo)

MANILA – GRAB Philippines (MyTaxi.ph, Inc.) is urging the Land and Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to raise the cap on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) units plying the country to around 75,000, based on its estimated number of active units on the road.

Grab Country Manager Brian P. Cu on Tuesday said the figure is based on the active riders using its platform and rival Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.).

Both companies previously submitted a master list to the LTFRB showing 54,000 units were under Grab’s service network, while 70,000 were under Uber, or a total of around 124,000 units.

Of this number, Mr. Cu estimated 40% use both service networks, while another 10,000 to 15,000 are inactive units.
This leaves around 75,000 active units in the country.

Mr. Cu’s suggestion is higher than the cap set by the LTFRB through Memorandum Circular 2018-003, which limits the number of Grab, Uber, and other ride-sharing units to 45,000 in Metro Manila, 500 in Metro Cebu, and 200 in Pampanga.

“We provided them with all the numbers kung ilan ang active per hour, ilan ang active daily, weekly.Kaya nung lumabas ang 45,000, nagulat din kami kung saan nanggaling yun (When the LTFRB came out with 45,000, we were also surprised because we don’t know where they got it),” Mr. Cu told reporters after the company’s press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday.

The Grab executive, however, said the company has not made a formal suggestion to the LTFRB.

“All I can suggest is the method on how to determine. We were never asked on that method. So I will suggest is take up both lists, take away the duplicates, and see who’s active, and use that as the process,” Mr. Cu said.

At present, Mr. Cu said around 35,000 to 40,000 Grab drivers are active on a weekly basis. This number serves about 65% of passengers, which means that only six out of 10 passengers will be able to book a ride.

To increase the chances of successfully booking a ride, Mr. Cu said the company needs 2,000 to 3,000 more drivers.
“With 3,000 more, I’ll be able to serve 75% of anyone that books,” he said.

Meanwhile, the LTFRB will start accepting TNVS franchise applications on Feb. 5 to fill the gap between the 45,000-limit and the 14,789 units that have either been registered or have pending applications with the transport authority.

Mr. Cu said Grab will announce how the company can assist Grab drivers with their franchise applications this week.