Is this why the LTFRB has been overly critical of Uber and other ride-sharing apps?
A few days ago the LTFRB has been clamping down hard on ride-sharing apps like Uber, who they claim have been operating without the proper franchise. Well, it seems there was a reason for the crackdown, at least according to motoring journalist James Deakin, who posted a notice for a public consultation by the LTFRB for the issuance of a new franchise for premium taxi.
The notice describes the new taxis for the service should be a four or five-door sedan, has a displacement of 2000cc or higher, must be brand new at the time of issuance, have a uniform color (black), will have GPS tracking capability and be equipped with an on-board electric taxi fare payment device that’s capable of processing payments made with credit or debit card. Here’s the kicker: the operator needs to have a facility for booking and dispatching by way of online or smartphone based application.
If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is – that’s almost exactly the requirements for Uber’s vehicles. Of course, there are differences – Uber doesn’t discriminate on the displacement of vehicles, and don’t require potential franchise owners to own 20 (yes, 20!) vehicles to be able to apply. The whole point of ride-sharing apps like Uber and GrabCar is to put vehicle surplus to good use so roads will be de-clogged – apparently that’s something that the LTFRB missed with these apps.
Now the LTFRB says that they’re clamping down on Uber and other ride-sharing apps for the safety of the riding public. Are they really? Because seeing things like this that pop up, it’s difficult to take them seriously. Both Uber and GrabCar are solid alternatives that people are taking because they’re simply tired of dealing with regular taxis. The public is fed up with all the crap that they have to go to get a ride in a taxi. They’re tired of asking, in the rain, a taxi driver to take them aboard their vehicle like they’re asking for a favor. They’re tired of taxi drivers who turn off the meter to negotiate a rate to go to a certain place. They’re tired of the “masyadong malayo boss, dagdagan nyo naman” lines that passengers have to endure whenever they tell them their destination. They’re tired of the dirty, smelly, ratty taxis that they have to ride in after they’ve managed to successfully convince the taxi driver to take them on.
Say it ain’t so, LTFRB.