WATCH out Grab, Uber, a new nationwide taxi-booking application will be launched before the end of 2017, the head of the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association said on Thursday.
“In two months, we will have a taxi-booking app exclusively for taxis,” Bong Suntay said during a Senate hearing on transport network vehicles (TNVs).
“It took us a long time before we found a partner,” Suntay said.
Previously, transport network company (TNC) Grab Philippines offered a taxi-booking service to the public. However, Suntay said that he thought that such a service would only be for taxis, but found out later that Grab partnered with owners of private vehicles.
“We don’t want to happen again what happened with Grab. We thought it was exclusive for taxis,” Suntay said.
Suntay said that taxi operators believed that there was enough market for both TNVS and taxis.
However, there has to be a level-playing field for both systems, Suntay said.
Suntay clarified that the new taxi app would only be a booking app and meters would still be used in these vehicles.
“Even if we have the software, we still have the taxi meter,” he said, explaining that they are bound by regulations of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Suntay also said that taxi drivers commonly asked passengers for extra payment because the waiting time for taxi meters was P3.50 for every two minutes.
Senator Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th said that the key for taxi drivers to compete efficiently with the TNVS was to “allow our taxi operators to evolve”, particularly with the modern technology that comes with change.
Aquino also said that the LTFRB must be able to present scientifically the demands of the riding public on their preferred mode of transportation.