LTFRB Needs to Open More TNVS Slots to Meet Demand – Grab PH

Ruben Manahan IV

Transport Network Company Grab Philippines on Tuesday welcomed the move of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) as it opened 10,000 slots for new Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) applicants.

Leo Gonzales, Grab Philippines’ head of Public Affairs, was quoted in the statement that while the decision of the Board to open the said number of slots is a welcome development, it (LTFRB) needs to clear the current masterlist if inactive drivers.

“We acknowledge and thank the LTFRB for taking the initiative to solve this industry issue. However, this is just a first step. More should be done to end the wait of passengers, drivers and other TNCs. We urgently request the LTFRB to replace inactive vehicles with active vehicles ready to serve the riding public,” said Gonzales.

Grab, however, believes that the numbers are still behind the current passenger demand, from the targeted 65,000 to 80,000 to address the need of consumers.

“We also appeal to the LTFRB to increase the common supply base to 80,000 vehicles  and review the demand quarterly, consistent with their earlier pronouncements. This will help bring more passengers home and will allow new TNCs to scale,” Gonzales noted.

Currently, the number of TNVS units set for Metro Manila by the LTFRB is at 65,000.

According to Gonzales, the LTFRB’s decision to open 10,000 new vehicle slots is a step in the right direction toward resolving the current lack of supply on the road but it’s not going to be enough.

“Replacing the inactive vehicles in the master list would be an additional measure that could go a long way in improving TNC service,” he said.

Gonzales added that despite being the “first Asian country to legalize ride-hailing in 2015,” they are now facing a big setback with the current supply crisis.

“Supply is struggling to meet the massive demand from the riding public and only the LTFRB has the authority to address this. Grab gets about 600,000 daily bookings but there are only 35,000 daily active drivers available to serve this demand. None of the other countries in the region have a supply problem like this. In fact, Grab’s allocation rate in Metro Manila is the lowest in Southeast Asia as only 4 out of 10 bookings are able to be efficiently served,” Gonzales claimed.

Gonzales said that after Uber pulled out of the market last March, only 42,000 were left operating with Grab since not all vehicles were able to transfer from Uber.

“Considering coding and natural churn, only 35,000 vehicles are active daily. Currently, there are about 13,000 inactive vehicles in the system. Yet, the master list has not been revisited to reflect this new reality even though the LTFRB made earlier pronouncements that it will review the demand quarterly,” he added.

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