Grab lowers surge rate temporarily to 1.6 times
Ride-hailing giant Grab has temporarily lowered its surge rate from double during rush hours to 1.6 times as the additional P2-per-minute travel rate recently approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) kicked in on Friday.
This temporary fare reduction, said Grab spokesperson Leo Gonzales, was to help its passengers adjust their daily transportation budget in the wake of the sudden fare change.
On September 5, the LTFRB allowed transport network companies (TNCs) Grab, Owto, Hype and u-Hop to charge an additional P2-per-minute travel rate as part of its efforts to rationalize the fare structure for ride-hailing apps.
Travel rates are additional fees charged per minute from the time the driver picks up the passenger until they reach their destination.
The decision was prompted in part by the confusion from the now-rescinded Department Order No. 2015-11, which allowed TNCs to create their own fare matrices subject to the LTFRB’s supervision.
The order was used by Grab to justify imposing a P2-per-minute travel rate from July 2016 to April 2017, which PBA Rep. Jericho Nograles slammed as “illegal” and charged without prior approval from the LTFRB.
The board ordered its suspension in May and directed Grab to pay a P10-million fine for allegedly unilaterally charging the fees.
Grab has repeatedly maintained that the suspension cost their drivers much of their daily income, forcing them to go offline and contributing to the severe dearth of available cars on the road.
“We hope that (the rate’s reimposition) will encourage our driver-partners to go back online and continue bringing more passengers home, especially this upcoming Christmas season,” Gonzales said.
“We are hopeful that the waiting time and booking experience will improve as we get more drivers back into the platform to serve you,” he also said.
He added that Grab had already updated their app’s trip receipts to reflect the new fare breakdowns.