LTFRB to Uber: No Uber-Pasig bus project

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TRANSPORT regulators have stopped a planned launch by Uber Philippines (Uber Systems, Inc.) of a new bus project in Pasig City.

At a press conference on Friday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it needs more “details” on the so-called “Uber-Pasig Bus” project that Uber set for launch on Sept. 15.

“We called Uber’s attention because they want to launch next month Uber Bus…they did not present to us. We do not know the details of Uber Bus,” LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada told a media briefing.

“We told Uber, stop Uber Bus, do not launch. They need to give their details, or the bus operators will complain…There will be an overlap, there will be competition.”

LTFRB said Uber sent a letter on Aug. 10, informing the agency of the plan to launch Uber Pasig-Bus “mini-project” which will traverse the Pasig City central business district (CBD).

Users of the Uber app can view operating buses under the Pasig City bus project if they are in the Pasig CBD area. Uber said in the communication that there will be no booking or payments to be facilitated by Uber as the Pasig City bus ride is free.

“With this project, we want to showcase the efficiencies that can be achieved with the use of technology. Working with the buses of Pasig City gives us the opportunity to solve some of the pain-points and challenges faced by the existing and potential riders of the Pasig City Bus System,” Uber said in its letter.

A representative of Uber confirmed via text message to BusinessWorld that the company submitted the letter on Aug. 10, asking “for a meeting so we could present Uber Bus.”

The LTFRB is set to rule on a manifestation filed by Uber to pay a P10-million fine instead of serving a month-long suspension. – P.P.C. Marcelo