MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has finally given clearance to increasing the cap on the number of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) units on the road.
From a mere 45,000 limit it imposed in January, the regulator upped this to 65,000 for Metro Manila.
The number of TNVS in Cebu was also increased to 1,500 from 500; and in Pampanga, to 250 from 200.
The LTFRB considered, in deciding the issue, the number coding scheme, the hours required for the maintenance of vehicles, and passenger demand.
The LTFRB relied on the study of a third-party auditing company.
There are a total of 119,283 TNVS units on the masterlists of Grab and Uber as of July 2017, when the LTFRB imposed a moratorium on acceptance of new applicants.
The units tagged “dual citizen,” or those affiliated with both Grab and Uber, have since been culled from this number; as well as those deemed inactive (have not hit the road for more than 90 days), those that are part of a fleet exceeding three vehicles, and those with duplicate records.
In all, the only ones to be given franchises are 59,020. The remaining 6,000 slots will be given to those on the list of Grab and Uber that used to be inactive but decided to be active.
Meanwhile, no franchises will be given to new vehicles or members.
The LTFRB also reconsidered and approved the deployment of hatchbacks, and in turn, the TNCs agreed that these types of units will charge lower rates.
The hatchbacks may only be fielded within a three-year transitory period or until their owners have repaid their loans.
LTFRB regulations state that vehicles with engine displacement of lower than 1.3 liters cannot be used as public utility vehicles (PUV).
The TNVS must coordinate with their respective TNCs for the processing of their franchise applications, starting March 5.
Grab and Uber expressed satisfaction at the new caps approved by regulators, as this means no driver will be deprived of their livelihood.
Such numbers can also meet at least 75% of the demand for TNVS.
Meanwhile, LTFRB will review the total number of TNVS every three months to ascertain if the numbers are enough.