By Daphne J. Magturo, Reporter

LTFRB flip-flops on accreditation of U-HOP shuttle-sharing service

Posted on October 29, 2015

A BOARD MEMBER the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday clarified that the agency has not yet rejected the request for accreditation of U-HOP Transportation Network Vehicle System, Inc., an online-based shuttle-sharing service.

“A decision copy furnished to U-HOP itself is needed first before their accreditation is to be denied,” LTFRB Board Member Antonio Ariel Inton, Jr. said in a statement yesterday.

“Any lawyer knows that a decision is needed to afford the party applicant due process in its application for accreditation.”

Mr. Inton’s statement contradicts an Oct. 25 statement by LTFRB Chairman Winston M. Ginez which quoted him as saying: “We have to decline U-HOP’s accreditation application since its business model is not what the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) had envisioned for Transportation Network Companies and Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS).”

Mr. Ginez has yet to respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Inton admitted that LTFRB members are “not seeing eye to eye” when it comes to U-HOP’s accreditation and said it will be “best to wait” for the DoTC to issue a formal response before the LTFRB makes an official announcement.

Early this year, the DoTC issued memorandum circulars legalizing online-based transportation companies, but the directives do not cover shuttle services.

U-HOP applied for accreditation so it can offer shuttle sharing by matching vehicles and passengers, through a pre-arranged transportation with a vehicle-to-passenger ratio of 1:7.

A van owner is required to pay a joining fee of P150,000, and another P75,000 for the U-HOP Shuttle Device Package that will be installed in their vehicles.

U-HOP will then assign registered operators a “service area” within Metro Manila.

“This means U-HOP operators will have a fixed route which runs counter to provision of the DoTC’s Department Order No. 2015-011, particularly on the No Fixed Route policy for TNVS,” Mr. Ginez had said.