TRANSPORT network services Grab and Uber should put a cap in their “surge” prices during rush hours and rainy days to prevent passengers from paying exorbitant fares, a lawmaker said on Sunday.
Rep. LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board should move swiftly in reviewing the surge policy of Grab and Uber. Higher than normal fares under surge pricing entice Grab and Uber drivers to pick up passengers despite heavy traffic on the roads.
“The LTRFB should come up with a formula that would put a cap on the surge or higher pricing scheme to protect passengers from being virtually scammed. Their surge pricing makes them even worse than taxicab drivers who victimize hapless passengers by … asking the passengers to pay a fixed amount (rather than the metered fare) during rush hours or rainy days,” Villafuerte said in a statement.
While Grab, Uber and other online transportation network companies are filling the service gaps not being provided by taxis, these firms should still be regulated so they won’t end up copying the bad practices of some taxi operators and drivers who overcharge passengers, Villafuerte said.
He cited the case of a passenger who had to pay as much as P1,000 for a ride from Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City to Quezon City on a rainy day.
“While the surge is there to get more cars on the road, the increase should be reasonable and should not take advantage of the desperation of their passengers to get a ride at times when they need it the most,” Villafuerte said.
Villafuerte also urged the LTFRB to mandate Grab and Uber to issue stricter guidelines for drivers joining Grab and Uber, to ensure the safety of passengers.