Wednesday July 18, 2018

LTFRB approves taxi fare hike

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has approved the petitions for fare increase for taxi services.

In a decision on October 4, LTFRB said the taxi services operating in Metro Manila and provinces, except Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), are "permanently" authorized to raise a flag down fare of P10, resulting in the flag down rate of P40.

For those in CAR, the permanent flag down fare is P35.

"Taxi services authorized to operate in the National Capital Region, and the provinces, including Cordillera Administrative Region, are authorized to charge P13.50 per kilometer of distance traveled and P2 per minute of travel time from origin to destination," LTFRB said.

On February 10, 2017, LTFRB issued an order provisionally authorizing an increase of flag down fare in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other provinces of P40 for the first 500 meters; and for CAR, P35 for first 400 meters.

The approval of the permanent fare hike on taxi services was made following the petitions filed by several taxi groups, citing among others, that the last increase was granted seven years ago.

But LTFRB set up conditions in approving the fare hike petitions.

"It is important to mention that this fare increase should be hand-in-hand with the compliance of taxi operators with the PUV (Public Utility Vehicle) Modernization Program, and the mandated features provided for taxi services," the agency said.

The mandated features are provided under Department Order 2017-011 regarding Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance, such as the existence of GNSS receiver, free Wi-Fi, CCTV with continuous recording of past 72 hours of operations, dashboard camera (at least 24 hours of recording), and an online digital platform compliant with the technical specifications of operating conditions as specified in the Order.

"Accordingly, a just rate must be founded upon conditions which are fair and reasonable both to the public utility and the riding public itself," LTFRB said.

According to the decision, the increase in taxi fare will take effect after the publication in a newspaper of general circulation or unless modified/revoked and/or canceled by the Board. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)