Grab drivers' group warns of higher surge fare with deactivation of units

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 02:34 PM

MANILA - Surge rates will rise if Grab pushes through with its plan to deactivate 8,000 "unaccredited" units, a group of drivers who use hatchback cars for the ride-sharing platform said on Monday. 

Last year, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said hatchback cars may be used as ride-sharing units, but only in Metro Manila. 

Hatchbacks will also stop being accredited after a transition period of three years as compact cars pose safety issues, regulators said.

However, in the guidelines released by the LTRFB recently, hatchbacks are no longer allowed for ride-sharing services starting this year.

A group of Grab drivers who use hatchbacks said banning them from ride-sharing services will have a big impact on the availability of cars for commuters. 

“Bababa ang supply natin. Ang tendency po pag bumaba ang supply tataas ang pamasahe, magkakaroon ng surge," said Leonardo de Leon, chairman of the TNVS Hatchback Community. 

(The supply [of ride-sharing cars] will go down. The tendency is if the supply goes down, fares will go up, there will be surge pricing.)

De Leon said many of their members have been driving hatchbacks for Grab for several years now. They tried applying for accreditation but the LTFRB did not process their application, he said. 

In a statement published Sunday, Grab said it was only following the LTFRB's order to deactivate "colorum" or illegal units when it said hatchbacks are not allowed as ride-sharing cars.

Grab is also set to face LTFRB on Tuesday, June 11, to explain its decision to deactivate 8,000 units.

The LTFRB opened applications for 10,000 new ride-sharing permits this Monday. 

- Report from Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News