Balancing reliability and affordability

Manila, Tuesday, 27 December – On the day before Christmas, the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) called on Uber and the other Transport Network Company (TNC) operating in the country to explain their pricing structure in light of what the LTFRB claims to be numerous complaints on higher fares particularly during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

“The LTFRB is right in saying there currently exists a high passenger demand for ridesharing services during the holiday season,” said Laurence Cua, General Manager for Uber Philippines. “And while we’re extremely happy that more and more Filipinos are embracing the concept of ridesharing as not just a safe and reliable transport option, but also a viable solution to easing traffic congestion, we have been unable to completely serve that demand since the LTFRB suspended the processing of new TNVS applications last July,” added Cua.

“Dynamic pricing is triggered by  the lack of supply in our system’s effort to meet the demand patterns at different locations and at different times.,” said Cua. “For example, 682,000 riders took an Uber ride over the past three months, an increase in ridership by more than 119% since June, yet the LTFRB has maintained its suspension on TNVS applications during the same period.”

Responding to the LTFRB’s demands posted on social media, Uber announced on December 25 that it has implemented an artificial limit on surge until January 15. However, this move does not come without its consequences. Uber has said its service levels have fallen since complying with the directive. “Under normal circumstances, eight out of ten riders can reliably get a car with a tap of a button. However, that number has already dropped to five out of ten after the artificial cap,” said Cua. “We are monitoring this closely because we also have an obligation to provide reliable rides to our riders, and we want to ensure that drivers are properly motivated, and not coerced, to provide services during these special seasons.”

“We all share the same passion for solving the country’s transport and traffic woes. Constraining our capability to make every ride a shared ride by getting more people into fewer cars brings the efforts we have made to solve traffic to a grinding halt. We urge the LTFRB to lift the suspension on TNVS applications so we can keep the Philippines moving forward together,” Cua added.

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