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Grab attributes surge rates to inadequate supply of cars on the road in LTFRB hearing

By AYIE LICSI Published Dec 06, 2022 9:22 pm

Are your Grab fares getting pricier lately? Grab was called by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to explain the higher fares and surge rates that commuters have been experiencing with their rides.

The LTFRB issued a show cause order against the ride-sharing company, with its first hearing set on Dec. 6. During the hearing, the government agency was asked by commuter groups to clearly define when Grab could set its surge rates.

"'Yon nga po 'yong gusto malaman, kailan po tayo magsu-surge?" said LTFRB Executive Director Robert Peig. "Dapat nga po mag-control."

Grab spokesperson EJ Dela Vega told GMA News that the LTFRB allows the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) to add surge rates when there are fewer cars on the road.

"LTFRB has already imposed a maximum of 2x that has been in place for a number of years," Dela Vega said, adding that to accommodate the demand this Christmas season, Grab would need 10,000 more units.

In April, the franchising board opened 8,000 additional slots for TNVS to increase the number of operating vehicles from ride-sharing and hailing companies. According to ABS-CBN News, out of the 7,000 registered franchises, only around 2,000 are on the road.

Grab was also called to explain the additional P40 fare for riders opting for GrabShare—where passengers share their ride with other riders on the way—and the minimum P85 for short rides that don't reach one kilometer.

"May inconsistencies. 'Yong fare structure na ibinigay nung 2019 through Memorandum Circular ay hindi sumusonod allegedly sa current fare structure po nila," Peig said.

Memorandum Circular 2019-036 states that the flag-down rate for sedans should be P40, with additional P15 per kilometer, and P2 per minute of travel.

Grab defended that the P85 minimum fare for short rides is "within allowed to be charged" even with the fare matrix in place.

The ride-hailing company is set to face another hearing before the LTFRB on Dec. 13.