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Here's how LTFRB's crackdown puts an inevitable decline with TNVS Grab ride availability

We are 99 percent sure that most of you are having a hard time in getting a Grab ride in the past weeks if not in the past months.
Here's how LTFRB's crackdown puts an inevitable decline with TNVS Grab ride availability
Grab's logo

You may be blaming it all on Grab or to its partner drivers. BUT, have you ever thought of our government's Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's (LTFRB) role in this low supply of TNVS vehicles?

Personally, I have been blaming Grab and its partner drivers plus Uber's shutdown because I am really having a hard time booking a ride from my home going to a mall or a train station. I always end up walking to the nearest main road and get myself a cab instead of waiting an hour to get a Grab car. 

First day of September, in accordance to LTFRB's announcement last month, all "colorum" ride-sharing cars will be facing impoundments plus hefty fines for the drivers. The government agency has also previous announced this similar move but has then deferred for a month.

LTFRB says that the drivers should apply for a Certificate for Public Convenience (CPC) with two-year validity that constitutes to a TNVS operator's permit to operate. Meanwhile, the transportation governing body issues a temporary Provisional Authority (PA) with 45-day validity that should be renewed repeatedly until the operator secures a CPC. 

The TNVS operators without the 2-year CPC is considered as "colorum"

According to Grab, there are 600,000 commuters who book a ride from their app but there's only 24,000 active vehicles that serve 64 percent of the booking requests. This results to a low 53 percent of passengers that successfully books a ride during off-peak hours. And a very poor 37 percent of passengers on peak hours. 

Brian Cu, Country Head of Grab Philippines shared that: The Philippine market despite being the first country to legalize ride-sharing in Asia in 2015, is facing a big setback because of the supply crisis. The LTFRB has not done its part to resolve the supply crisis. They should immediately prioritize adding more drivers to support the demand. 

Before, the TNVS supply were at 125,000. LTFRB downgraded it to 55,000 explaining that they are ensuring the non-congested roads of Metro Manila. This approved master list of TNVS cars are also the number of those that can process the CPC and PA certificates from LTFRB.
Current Grab Supply vs. Demand situation
Current Grab Supply vs. Demand situation

However, it's odd for transport network companies (TNCs) that the CPC and PA application numbers are low. For example, Grab said that they have set-up a booth near LTFRB office to help their partner drivers' applications. 

Grab stands firm with their position that there is a huge gap between supply of TNVS vehicles and demand of commuters. And since this makes a huge transportation problem, the transport network company believes that LTFRB should make a consistent and timely review of the supply and demand situation

Grab also believes that the supply cap must be increased to 85,000 vehicles.

Referencing with Entrepreneur Philippines' interviews with some of the Grab drivers, another reason in the drop of active Grab drivers is the recent suspension of the PHP 2-per-minute charge. Grab said that they have lost 6 percent of active/online drivers from April to July 2018. 

Another reason is the continuous oil price hike. One driver interviewed by the Entrepreneur Philippines also shared that the LTFRB must set a clear list of requirements without changes. Since "the requirements are confusing because they keep on changing," according to one leader of Grab drivers. 

A sad note from Cu reads: We are only able to allocate four out of 10 bookings which is the lowest allocation rate in Southeast Asia.

The public commuters are the ones that experience the hardship in this over demand and low supply series of TNVS in our country. One thing that we all can do is to book a Grab Share if we're riding alone or with a friend instead of a Grab Car that can accommodate up to four persons. Plus, you can also get lower fares by sharing the ride. 

BUT, again, we cannot stand this long-enduring hardship if the LTFRB can make a move to do its part on increasing the regulated number of TNVS vehicles. We are sure that this government transport regulating body have staff and executives who enjoy the service of convenience brought by Grab and other TNCs. 

And besides, the decrease of regulated TNVS vehicles by the LTFRB does not decongest the Metro Manila roads. I appreciate the LTFRB's effort on decongesting the metro BUT I have not felt it since I am still opting to ride trains instead of continuously ride a Grab car from my home straight to my destination. 

Traffic sucks, right? But what's worst is spending not less than an hour to get a Grab ride most especially on peak hours.

What we all can do now is to wish that the supply would soon increase to serve the growing demand of ride bookings.  

What do you think guys? Let us know your poor ride booking stories on the comments below!
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