Taxi fare to be at par with Uber, Grab

Manila Bulletin - - News - By ALEXAN­DRIA DENNISE SAN JUAN and CHARISSA L. ATIENZA

The Land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB) has ap­proved a pro­posed fare struc­ture to make taxis more com­pet­i­tive with trans­port net­work ve­hi­cles (TNVs), a move op­posed by a party-list con­gress­man.

LTFRB mem­ber Atty. Aileen Lizada said the pro­posed taxi fare ma­trix is based from the struc­ture of those with TNVS.

Lizada said that in their pro­posed fare ad­just­ment, the R40 flag­down rate will re­main, but the run­ning fare for ev­ery 300 me­ters and wait­ing time for ev­ery two min­utes will in­crease to R5.50 from R3.50.

The fare, Lizada added, will be on per kilo­me­ter ba­sis.

“So fare will be P40 plus the amount times kilo­me­ters plus the amount times num­ber of min­utes,” Lizada ex­plained in a text mes­sage.

AANGAT TAYO party-list Rep. Neil Abayon strongly op­posed the LTFRB move, say­ing it will “es­sen­tially price the taxis out of the mar­ket and push more peo­ple to ride TNVs.”

He branded as “wrong move” the LTFRB’ s de­ci­sion to give in to pend­ing pe­ti­tions for taxi fare hikes.

“LTFRB of­fi­cials re­ally do not un­der­stand how eco­nomics works. It is very clear now that many com­muters pre­fer the Trans­port Net­work Com­pa­nies’ (TNCs’) TNVs over the taxis,” Abayon said.

He said that al­though the rates of the TNVs are higher than reg­u­lar taxis, more com­muters still pre­fer to book with TNCs be­cause it is more con­ve­nient, has bet­ter se­cu­rity and safety mea­sures for pas­sen­gers, and the ser­vice qual­ity is much bet­ter.

“For as long as the qual­ity of the ser­vice of taxis does not im­prove, the rid­ing public will still pre­fer to ride the TNCs’ TNVs units,” he said.

“So, if and when the LTFRB goes ahead with its plan to make taxi fares at par with the rates of TNCs, they will es­sen­tially price the taxis out of the mar­ket and push more peo­ple to ride the TNCs’ TNVS units in­stead of the taxis,” Abayon said.

He said such plan will lead to even less in­come for taxis in­stead of more in­come.

“By rais­ing taxi fares, they give peo­ple who dis­like taxis added rea­son not to ride taxis be­cause TNCs are the bet­ter qual­ity al­ter­na­tive,” he said.

How­ever, Lizada said that even if taxis will al­most have the same rate as TNVs, there will be no price surge for taxi de­nom­i­na­tion.

“All taxi units, their me­ters must be cal­i­brated and only af­ter cal­i­bra­tion shall the fare struc­ture takes ef­fect,” she said.

LTFRB will re­lease its of­fi­cial de­ci­sion on the taxi fare ad­just­ment by the end of the month.

Over the week, LTFRB Chair­man Martin Del­gra III an­nounced that they will come up with a de­ci­sion to in­crease taxi fares mak­ing it equal to the rates of Uber and Grab.

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