Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles today said that while the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has been talking tough about taxi drivers who refuse to take passengers and those demand extra for their trips, it is doing nothing on ride-hailing companies who do same the “high-tech way.”
Nograles said with the suspension of Uber which was his regular mode of transport, he decided Friday morning to use Grab to bring him to the airport. To his disappointment, he was refused three times and at least two Grab drivers cancelled on him before one finally decided to take him.
“This to me is a clear case of passenger refusal which is considered a violation by the LTFRB. They’ve been talking tough about imposing severe punishments against taxi drivers who refuse passengers but what about those who do the same through our ride-hailing applications? Mas high-tech lang sa Grab pero di ba pareho lang na passenger refusal yan? ” Nograles said.
Nograles related that since it’s taking too long for his Grab car to pick him up, he decided to cancel his request and get a regular taxi to take him to the airport only to learn afterwards that Grab charged P318 from his credit card.
Apart from charging fares even after a cancellation, Nograles noted that Grab is also equally liable for overcharging fares because of their so-called “auto-surge” which has gone out of control after LTFRB decided to suspend Uber.
He noted that so many patrons of ride-hailing platforms like Uber and Grab has been complaining that their fares have nearly tripled because of auto-surge, a system allows ride-hailing applications to automatically increase fares on the basis of passenger demand and traffic situation.
“There are times when Grab would charge as much as P800 just for a 20-kilometer ride because of the surge. This is already hold-up. This is no different from a taxi driver who would demand an extra on top of their meter fare. I don’t know if LTFRB even knows this is considered as overcharging,” Nograles said.
He said that charging a full fare even after a cancellation should be also considered a form of overcharging.
Nograles said that while he understands the need to charge extra especially during rush hour, there must be an automatic cap to ensure that that the riding public would be protected from overcharging.
“If there is an auto-surge, there should also be an auto-cap on fare prices as well,” Nograles said.
Nograles said that these issues of passenger refusal and auto-surge will be among the concerns that he will bring up once the House Committee on Transportation starts deliberating on his proposed House Bill 6009 which seeks to provide a legal framework for the operation of Tranport Network Companies (TNCs) like Grab and Uber.