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Grab asks LTFRB to raise cap on drivers, cites rising demand

/ 04:49 AM August 31, 2018

As the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) opens 10,000 new slots for transport network vehicular service (TNVS) drivers, the leading ride-hailing company Grab urged the board to also raise the limit on app-based drivers to 80,500.

In a statement on Wednesday, Grab spokesperson Leo Gonzales said that while the new slots could help address the dearth of available cars, it would still fail to meet the swelling demand. Grab alone receives around 600,000 bookings every day, he noted.

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Active drivers

The other five transport network companies—Micab, Owto, Hype, Hirna and GoLag— get between 10,000 and 20,000 bookings per day.

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This was not the first time that Grab appealed to the board to increase the cap, or the number of TNVS drivers allowed to drive on ride-hailing platforms, which the

LTFRB has limited to 65,000.

Of these, only 55,000 slots have been filled, while only less than 20,000 have been issued provisional authority or certificates of public convenience (CPCs).

Gonzales said only around 35,000 vehicles are actually active daily while around 13,000 drivers who were formerly part of Grab but were not included in the master list had yet to be activated again by the board.

Yawning gap

This yawning gap between available cars and booking requests from riders means that only four out of 10 bookings are being efficiently served, he said.

“More should be done to end the wait of passengers, drivers and other TNCs (transport network companies). [We] appeal to the LTFRB to increase the (cap) and review the demand quarterly, consistent with their earlier pronouncement. This will help bring more passengers home and allow new TNCs to scale,” he said.

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In a message, LTFRB chair Martin Delgra said the board was considering the proposal.

Amenable

Meanwhile, other TNCs said they were also amenable to raising the cap—with caveats. GoLag spokesperson Willie Bercasio said raising the cap could only be significant for smaller players like them if the board decides to limit the drivers allowed to drive each platform.

Hype spokesperson Jennifer Silan said it was imperative for the board to consistently review the cap to better address the needs of the riders.

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TAGS: Grab, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)
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