FARE HIKE BID
Operators to seek P50 taxi flag down, P8.50 PUJ fare
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Offhand, they want a P10 increase in taxi flag-down rate, which starts at P40.
For jeepneys, they are looking at a P1 increase in the current minimum fare of P7.50.
A formal petition has yet to be filed.
Richard Cabucos, president of the Metro Cebu Taxi Operators Association (MCTOA), said he will be meeting with officials of the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association in Manila (PNTOA) in Manila this Tuesday to finalize the amount for a petition to be filed with the the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
PNTOA is contemplating a P10 increase in taxi flag down rates and a 50 centavo increase for the succeeding 300 meters.
The current flag down is P40 with P3.50 per succeeding 300 meters based on LTFRB’s last fare order in Jan. 15, 2011. The last round of taxi fare adjustments was given one year ago.
Cabucos could not say yet if MCTOA, which has around 4,000 units in Cebu, will support the mother organization’s petition for a P10 increase in the flag down rate.
If this rate is approved, taxi passengers start their trip at P50.
“The increase is needed but I can’t say yet for sure how much we’ll ask for because we still have to meet,” he said.
Cabucos pointed out that when the P40 flag-down rate was approved last January 2011, the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was P32 per liter.
Today LPG prices reach P46 per liter following a recent P3 increase.
Many taxi units in the country have shifted from gasoline to auto LPG as a more economical option.
Cabucos also cited rising costs of vehicle maintenance and operations.
Taxi operators even lowered the rental for old taxi units to P400 a day, but drivers who pay for the use of the taxis still complain that their take home income was insufficient, he said.
Ryan Benjamin Yu, president of the Cebu Integrated Transport Services Cooperative (CITRASCO), said his group is also seeking a fare increase.
CITRASCO has about 200 taxi units and over 1,000 jeepneys in Metro Cebu.
Yu said the group has yet to finalize the amount for taxis, but added that the increase should not be less than P5 for the flag down.
For jeepneys, Yu said a P1 increase in the minimum fare would be suitable.
Yu said the price LPG used by taxis has went up more than P10 per liter since the last round of fare increase.
For jeepneys, diesel fuel also went up to P47 per liter from P42 per liter when the P7.50 minimum fare was granted.
“Definitely, we are seeking a fare increase,” he said.
Yu asked the public for understanding, saying operators don’t want to burden passengers “but we can no longer absorb the series of fuel price increases.”
“For us to be able to sustain operations, we have to do this,” he said.
He said costs of all components have gone up— vehicle batteries, wheels, even the service of mechanics.
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