GRAB PHILIPPINES (MyTaxi.PH, Inc.) will temporarily lower its surge pricing to 1.6 times instead of two times to give time for passengers to adjust to higher fares after being allowed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to reimpose its P2-per-minute waiting time charge starting Friday.
“To help our passengers cope with the adjustment of their daily transportation budget, we will temporarily lower our surge pricing to 1.6x instead of 2.0x. We are hopeful that the waiting time and booking experience will improve as we get more drivers back into the platform,” the ride-hailing company said in a statement.
Asked until when the lower surge pricing will be implemented, Grab told reporters there is no definite timeline but performance trends will be observed in the coming two weeks.
The LTFRB authorized transport network companies (TNCs) such as Grab to charge a P2-per-minute fare component in Memorandum Circular No. 2018-019 published early this month.
The policy is in line with Department Order No. 2018-013 from the Department of Transportation, which tasked the LTFRB to regulate the fares of TNCs.
Grab’s P2-per-minute charge was suspended in April after the LTFRB said the fare structure was not approved by the Board. It was also slapped with a P10 million fine by the regulator for allegedly overcharging.
With the reimposition of the per minute waiting time charge, Grab said it hopes its drivers will start hitting the road again, noting several drivers have stopped operating because of low income brought by the fare component suspension.
“We hope that this will encourage our driver-partners to go back online and continue bringing more passengers home, especially this upcoming Christmas season. Grab will continue to supplement this with other opportunities and benefits that will improve driver productivity,” it said.
The company also said it will update its receipts in the coming days to include the P2 per minute charge in the breakdown of fares. It said the calibration will take two days at most. — Denise A. Valdez