Rideshare Chronicles: Uber, Grab, LTFRB should all shape up
The LTFRB’s travel ban against Uber and Grab vehicles has sent social media abuzz with avid users criticizing the administration’s move to halt the operations of ridesharing services in the country. Traditional transport services like taxi groups have been against the introduction of new services like Uber and Grab.
Earlier, the LTFRB levied a P5-million fine each for the ridesharing services for various violations. According to the LTFRB, Uber and Grab have both failed to abide by the conditions of accreditation allowing uncertified vehicles to operate.
As ridesharing users, we do understand why many fellow users hate LTFRB’s decision. Uber and Grab have become viable alternatives to public transport. Almost anyone I know would choose a rideshare service over a regular taxi. The drivers are more polite, they drive more cautiously, the cars don’t stink, and they have functioning seat belts.
If there’s anything lamentable about rideshare services is the cost. Surge pricing is literally highway robbery. While it’s arguable that it’s the premium you pay for all the perks, we just feel that double the price is a tad excessive.
Anyway, back to the ban issue. Here’s the thing. We think that the LTFRB allowing these kinds of services to operate have already been a step forward. They’re great for competition. But the thing is, Uber and Grab should shape up and abide by the the laws of the land. If the government requires them to follow documentation procedures, then they should.
As for the LTFRB, they should also be efficient. Rideshare services argue that the LTFRB has been remiss in turning around applications. All applications that meet the requirements that the agency has set should be able to get the proper certifications and accreditation in a timely manner. Emphasis on timely. Everyone’s just sick of red tape and snail’s pace progress of government offices.
Any taxi service complaining that Uber and Grab is bad their business should just suck it up. It’s a free market and if they’re feeling the disruption then they better shape up. Everyone’s sick and tired of uncouth, smelly, and dangerous taxis anyway. With public transport still hell, you can’t blame people with some spare cash to pay for convenience.
So the bottom line is just that. Everyone needs to shape up. Rideshare services and operators should follow the rules. The LTFRB should be able to follow through and allow anyone that follows their rules. Public transportation should also get better. That also leaves consumers and citizens to be responsible too.