MANILA - The suspension of ride-sharing service Uber has eased traffic in Metro Manila, according to the chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA chairman Danny Lim said travel time around the metropolis was reduced by about 5 percent since the start of the suspension as fewer Uber units ply major thoroughfares.
“Sa mga narinig natin mukhang lumuwag nang konti ‘yung traffic because the problem talaga in Metro Manila is a volume problem of vehicles. Talagang napakaraming sasakyan at ‘yung mga kalsada natin ay hindi naman nadadagdagan,” Lim said in a news conference in Malacañang.
“So from what we heard, ‘yung mga report, pati ‘yung data natin sa Metro Base show na mukhang nakatulong sa pagbawas ng traffic.”
Among the initial objectives of Uber was to reduce traffic by allowing drivers to share rides with others at a price to be determined by the Uber app. Lim, however, said Uber became a business for some which the government has not strictly regulated, until now.
“Wala nang control ‘yung pagdami ng mga ganitong sasakyan, eh. Talagang nakakapasama sa traffic,” he said.
“May mga regulations tayo. Ilan ba dapat… Ilan ba ‘yung dapat ‘yung naibigay na prangkisa diyan? Ilang units?”
According to Lim, there are about 10 million registered vehicles in the entire country, about 30 percent of which are using Metro Manila roads.
Uber was suspended for 1 month for disregarding a moratorium against registering new cars, as it wrangled with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board over the scope of government authority on ride-hailing companies.
The LTFRB’s suspension of Uber earned the ire of the ride-sharing service’s patrons, who are complaining of the poor service and abusive practices of taxi drivers.
Uber has offered to give a P10 million fine to the LTFRB in exchange for the early lifting of the suspension. The appeal is being studied by the LTFRB.
The LTFRB fined Uber and rival Grab P5 million each in July for operating some 50,000 cars without proper documents.
The LTFRB allowed Grab and UHOP to take in Uber drivers as the ride-sharing service serves out its suspension.