JEEPNEY OPERATORS WANT ‘SURGE PRICING,’ TOO
Aside from P2 increase, they’re asking for P1 during rush hour
By Krixia Subingsubing @krixiasINQ There’s a need [to adjust] the fares during rush hour because you have to consider heavy traffic, which also takes its toll on both the driver and the engine Vigor Mendoza Lawyer of the petitioners
They want to charge riders a la Grab.
A group of jeepney operators plying routes in Marikina and Quezon City has asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for a P2 fare hike and a P1 “surge pricing” adjustment during peak hours, just like app-using vehicles.
In a 9-page petition, 22 operators who have already switched to jeepney units compliant with Euro-4 emission standards said the current base fare —P8 for the first four kilometers—was no longer enough to cover their operating expenses due to rising fuel prices.
Vigor Mendoza, a lawyer representing the 22 operators, told the Inquirer on Thursday that the petition would cover only those who had already complied with the government’s jeepney modernization program.
According to the petitioners, the high cost of compliance as well as excise taxes imposed under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law have also significantly reduced their daily net income, with some of them now earning as low as just over a hundred pesos.
They asked the LTFRB to raise the minimum fare to P10 for ordinary jeepneys and P12 for air-conditioned units. They also sought an additional P2 for every succeeding kilometer, up from the current P1.50.
On top of the base fare increase, the operators also asked for an additional P1 for the first four kilometers during peak hours: from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Should their petition for surge pricing be approved, operators of non-air-conditioned jeepneys can charge passengers during peak hours a minimum fare of P11. For air-conditioned units, the minimum base fare will be P13.
“There’s a need [to adjust] the fares during rush hour because you have to consider heavy traffic, which also takes its toll on both the driver and the engine,” Mendoza said.
He clarified, however, that the group’s petition was for jeepney operators who had already switched to Euro-4 units.
Must consult Neda
In a radio interview, LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said the agency would have to consult first with the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) to assess the implications of allowing surge pricing for public utility vehicles (PUVs), or those not under transport network companies (TNCs).
If approved, the petition could encourage similar fare hike demands from operators of other PUVs like buses and shuttle services, Lizada added.
In 2016, another transport group, Kilusan sa Pagbabago ng Industriya ng Transportasyon (Kapit), sought an additional P1 “rush-hour fee” for operators of brand-new jeepneys.
In 2017, two big transport groups in Cebu City also filed a petition for a P1.50 surge rate hike to cover the time and distance traveled during heavy traffic.