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Manic Monday for riders as Grab loses 8K drivers

Ride-hailing app drops from platform those who failed to renew franchise
/ 05:03 AM June 05, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Grab passengers should brace themselves for longer booking periods and higher price surges starting on Monday as the ride-hailing giant removes from its platform some 8,000 drivers who failed to apply for the renewal of their franchise by June 7.

The mass expulsion, unprecedented even under the transport network company’s (TNC) tumultuous history with transport regulators, means the loss of some 100,000 rides (based on Grab’s estimates) for commuters who rely on the app to get to their destinations.

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Less 18 percent

The 8,000 “colorum” drivers account for nearly 18 percent of its current active drivers (45,000) who stand to lose their source of livelihood.

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Grab president Brian Cu admitted that the massive slash in the TNC’s number of available vehicles was a “painful step” for both drivers and commuters.

“We would like to avoid this from happening, but we are bound to comply with our regulator,” he said.

Cu expressed hope, however that the 8,000 drivers would take advantage of the 10,000 new slots for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) drivers that would become available on June 10.

The issue of colorum vehicles was a carryover problem due to Grab’s acquisition of rival Uber’s Southeast Asian operations in April 2017.

To avoid disrupting the ride-hailing market, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) allowed Uber drivers to switch platforms provided they apply for the renewal of their franchise under Grab by June 7.

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TAGS: Brian Cu, colorum drivers, Grab Philippines, LTFRB, TNCs, transport network companies
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