THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are at odds once more, this time over operation of car service apps.
The MMDA on Thursday advised LTFRB to stop apprehending vehicles operating for Uber and Tripid, saying such kind of private initiatives will help ease traffic in Metro Manila.
Uber allows users to hire private vehicles partnered with the app while Tripid is a locally made app that facilitates carpooling.
Under the Uber system, the company arranges pick-up wherein cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app.
The LTFRB earlier said it cannot allow Uber service vehicles to operate since they never applied for franchise and that an Uber passenger is not covered by insurance in case an accident happens.
But MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the LTFRB should find ways on how to regulate the private initiatives, instead of suspending Uber’s operations and impounding them as colorum (illegal) vehicles.
“The muscle of the law and the procedural and technical arms of government agencies alone cannot resolve the lack of alternate means of transportation, they can only increase apprehension records,” he added.
About 200 Uber service vehicles were prevented by the LTFRB from operating on Wednesday.
Tolentino said since the government would not allow the taxicab sector to fail, it should not also curtail Uber’s options because of the wide range of opportunities and customer’s choices it provides.
“Uber or carpooling is a well-meaning effort intended for public safety and convenience, that’s why people are patronizing it. We cannot curtail their mobility rights,” he added.