Taxi group cites traffic, Uber as basis for fare hike | Inquirer News

Taxi group cites traffic, Uber as basis for fare hike

By: - Reporter / @erikaINQ
/ 05:53 AM January 30, 2016

Despite plunging fuel prices, taxi drivers are still earning less due to the daily traffic jams and increased competition from app-based vehicle services, the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) said Friday as it tried to justify its petition for higher fares.

The transport organization is seeking an increase in the taxi meter’s waiting time rate, from the current P3.50 to P5 every two minutes, supposedly to compensate for losses attributed to these factors.

PNTOA reiterated this position in a press conference Friday in Quezon City, despite calls from commuters for a taxi fare cut and a move from jeepney organizations favoring a fare rollback.


“It’s not an apple-to-apple comparison,” according to PNTOA president Bong Suntay, who said jeepney drivers actually earn more than taxi drivers on a per-kilometer basis and that the price of diesel used for jeepneys is lower than the price of gasoline for taxi.


Suntay noted that the increase in the waiting time rate—which is different from the running time rate—will be felt only during heavy traffic and is comparable to the surge pricing being practiced by app-based services Uber and GrabCar.

PNTOA’s petition for a rate increase was filed last year in the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). It is awaiting resolution alongside another petition filed by Rep. Manuel Iway to make the provisional P30 flag-down rate permanent and reduce the waiting time rate to P2.50.

Sought for comment, LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez said the board was still working on the resolution pertaining to the petitions.

Suntay, who is also a Quezon City councilor, said a “realistic adjustment” of the taxi fare would help minimize the incidence of drivers becoming “choosy” or charging passengers extra under a “kontrata” or without using the meter.

“A lot of drivers are losing income because of the worsening traffic condition,” Suntay said.

From the previous average of 40 trips a day, a taxi driver today can typically make a mere 25, he said. “While the price of gasoline went down, it has been effectively negated by traffic. Reducing the flag-down rate and increasing the waiting time rate is a win-win solution.”


Chris Dizon, another PNTOA official, said some 10,000 units of Uber and GrabCar have eaten into the taxis’ market share.

PNTOA is composed of fleet operators with a total of 12,000 units.

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TAGS: Bong Suntay, fuel prices, PNTOA, taxi, traffic, traffic jams, Uber

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