GRAB Philippines, an influential ride-sharing company, has said it is asking the government to allow more drivers to be hired amid growing demand due to mobility constraints.
“We anticipate this situation, and are working with LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) to onboard more TNVS (technology- and app-based transport network vehicle service) operators on the platform,” Grab Philippines said in a statement.
“On April 12, we received the welcome news that LTFRB will open a batch of about 8,000 TNVS slots on April 18 through the TNVS online portal,” it added.
The company expects additional TNVS drivers to hit the road in two to three months. But additional TNVS slots “are not enough to meet the growing demand for grabcars,” it noted.
“Grab continues to work with LTFRB to add more TNVS slots to better serve the riding public.”
Grab Philippines says that as of February 2020, it had about 33,000 active drivers daily.
The numbers dropped significantly during the epidemic, it said.
“We realize that life is getting back to normal, and more Filipinos are going out and taking Grabcar for their daily commute. Despite efforts by Grab Philippines to support driver-partners on the platform, the prolonged suspension of ride-hailing during the height of the lockdown forced thousands of Grabkar driver-partners to leave their cars or look for alternative income opportunities elsewhere, “it added.
“This situation has created a serious imbalance between Grabcar’s supply and demand conditions, with fewer Grabcar driver-partners on the road serving a growing number of passengers.”
In March, riders of ride-hailing services, including GRAB, requested LTFRB to act on their request to increase base fares by P15 as pump prices continued to rise.
Prices vary depending on the type of vehicle. The flag down rate is similar to P40 for sedans and P50 for premium Asian and sport utility vehicles. For hatchback or sub-compact vehicles, the flag down rate is the same as the P30. – RJ L Balinbin