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Supply of vehicles still not enough to meet upward demand — Grab

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By Alexandria San Juan

Despite consultations and meetings in improving the operations of transport network companies (TNCs) in the country last year, ride-sharing firm Grab Philippines bared that the supply of vehicles to service the upward demand of passengers is “still not good.”

A passenger opens the GRAB Philippines mobile application to book a Grrab car unit in Manila. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

A passenger opens the GRAB Philippines mobile application to book a Grab car unit in Manila. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN)

“[The supply of cars] is still not good. we are seeking permission to the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) to onboard more cars but they haven’t made a decision yet,” Grab Philippines President Brian Cu said.

According to Cu, monthly active cars operating under their platform are currently below 50,000, lower than the 65,000 cap on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) units in the National Capital Region.

In February last year, the LTFRB issued a memorandum to increase the number of common supply base in Metro Manila to 65,000 units, taking into account factors such as unserved demand, coding, and churning rate.

With this figure, authorities claimed TNCs will be able to serve at least 75 percent of their requested bookings per day.

Grab’s ridership, Cu explained, is being measured through fulfillment rate. He bared that their current fulfillment rate is at “very low” 60 percent, while its allocation rate during bad weather is below 50 percent.

“On a normal day, when there’s no rain, allocation rate is low 60 [percent]. That is the optimal in a sense na hindi sobrang tagal ng waiting ng passengers,” he added

Cu said they are asking the transport regulators to open additional 15,000 slots for TNVS franchise applications for them to onboard more drivers and to meet the increasing demand of passengers.

He added that once these slots get filled up, Grab’s quality of service could improve.

“The thing is when there’s improvement in quality, there’s an increase in usage. By the time the usage increases, quality deteriorates again because kulang na yung number ng vehicles, so you always go to that cycle,” Cu explained.

Last December 2018, the LTFRB opened an additional 20,000 slots for TNVS registration “due to low turn-out of applications for Certificate of Public Convenience of TNVS units” included in the masterlist submitted by transport network companies.

However, Cu said that most of the slots that were opened were taken by those included in the masterlist, or those who are already driving under a TNC but did not have a franchise.

“Now, almost the entirety of our fleet, 85 to 90 percent of it, already have franchise, which is good because na-achieve na yung goal ng government natin na linisin yung mess created by those who do not have franchise,” he added.

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