THE SUSPENSION imposed against Uber Philippines, a unit of Uber Systems, Inc., has improved travel times on Metro Manila’s roads, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danilo D. Lim said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) early this month imposed a one-month suspension on Uber after the board found that the company continued to accredit drivers despite a July 26 order directing ride-sharing platforms to cease doing so.
In a news conference in Malacañang yesterday, Mr. Lim said that based on MMDA’s data, the Uber suspension reduced travel time in Metro Manila by 5%.
“Talagang napakaraming sasakyan at yung mga kalsada natin di naman nadadagdagan (The number of vehicles is very high, and we’re not getting any more roads),” Mr. Lim said.
Ride-hailing mobile applications are viewed as a possible solution to the city’s transport deficit. But according to the MMDA chairman, ride-sharing, if not regulated, could worsen road congestion.
“May mga regulations tayo. Ilan ba yung dapat na naibigay na prangkisa dyan? Ilang units? (We have rules governing how many vehicles a franchise controls) But more than 100,000 vehicles are in effect ‘colorum.’ So that doesn’t help,” he said.
Uber said recently it has spent around P100 million in financial assistance to over 36,000 drivers who have been affected by the month-long suspension.
Uber has also proposed to pay a P10-million fine instead of serving the suspension. The LTFRB said it will decide on the matter “as soon as possible.” — Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral