After LTFRB warning, Grab, Uber put cap on price surges
After being warned that they may lose their accreditation, ride-sharing services Uber and Grab complied with a government directive to address complaints over “price surges” this holiday season.
In response to a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Uber implemented on Sunday a limit to its surge pricing.
In a statement, Uber said the limit would remain in effect up to Jan. 15, 2017, to allow passengers to avail themselves of “more affordable” rides.
It called on the public to use the Uber app’s “Help” feature should they have any concerns regarding their trip.
Grab, meanwhile, committed to place a cap on its rates from Dec. 24 to Jan. 30 next year “to ensure that the riding public will get the best service and rates during this season.” It gave no further details, however, as to how much the limit would be.
The company reminded its passengers to “double check” their destination and pickup points before confirming their booking so they will not be charged incorrectly.
The LTFRB on Sunday thanked Grab for its “immediate action” on the matter.
But in the case of Uber, the board earlier that day issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the transport network company (TNC) for it come up with measures that would prevent “unreasonable” price surges.
The LTFRB then noted that the company “did not heed” the board’s earlier directive for the TNCs not to take advantage of the increased demand from commuters.
The board earlier reminded them that it can suspend or cancel their accreditation should the complaints persist. This was after it received reports that riders had paid as much as P28,000 just for a single trip.
Before Uber announced the price cap, a note published on the company website said the LTFRB should also make a move.
Discussions since July
Uber Philippines general manager Laurence Cua pointed out that since the LTFRB suspended the application of transport network vehicle services (TNVS) in July, there have been discussions with the agency concerning ways to address the growing demand and avoid price surges caused by the lack of vehicles.
“We have seen increasing demand for Uber rides this holiday season, yet vehicle availability remained stagnant. We are optimistic that the LTFRB will soon lift the suspension on new TNVS applications, allowing more people to enjoy safe, reliable and affordable rides in the Philippines,” Cua said.
Mounting complaints over price surges first became a concern for the LTFRB in September last year, particularly after a stormy night in Metro Manila when flash floods paralyzed traffic and rides became scarce in many parts of the capital.
The LTFRB on Sunday renewed its call to the public to report any violation committed not only by TNCs but also by taxi drivers to the board’s 24/7 hotline 1342 or mobile numbers 09175501342 and 09985501342.
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