CEBU

LTFRB 7 probes sudden fare surges

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Central Visayas will investigate complaints of price surges from the motorcycle ride-hailing service app, Angkas.

Angkas riders noticed a P10 increase in the price for the regular route they used in booking the app.

Rodel Montebon, one of the Angkas users who noticed the sudden fare increase, noted that while he paid only P26 for a ride from his house to a nearby laundry shop in Barangay Apas before, the fare on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 was P36.

Riders also noticed that the app became more complicated to use.

After the app update, Angkas now asks for the weight of the passengers to match the type of motorcycle which will serve the passenger.

SunStar Cebu tried to book a ride Monday morning from the SunStar office to Malacañang sa Sugbo near the Cebu City Port, a mere 2.5 kilometer distance and the fare was pegged at P229.

However, a booking from St. Jude Bulacao to the SunStar office which is 6.5 kilometers, pegged the fare at P114.

These bookings were made at around the same time.

The LTFRB 7 said it will make a report regarding the riders’ complaints and submit it to the national office.

Based on the pilot study agreed by the government, the LTFRB and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) will conduct joint monitoring of all transport network vehicle services or TNVS.

LTFRB 7 Regional Director Eduardo Montealto said if proven that Angkas has been overcharging its passengers, it will be penalized with a P5,000 fine for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense, P15,000 for the third offense and the possible suspension of the certificate of public convenience for a month or the revocation of the certificate in line with Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01 of LTO and LTFRB.

Based on the guidelines, the fare for Angkas was pegged at P20 for the first kilometer and P16 to P20 for the succeeding kilometers. A 1.5x surge cap was also set as an automatic incentive for bikers to serve passengers during peak hours.

Angkas head of operations, David Medrana told SunStar Cebu that they are investigating the reports of overcharging.

“There have been reports of fare fluctuations, both up and down, in Cebu and we are currently looking into it,” he said.

Medrana clarified that the price surges have nothing to do with the traffic caused by the flurry of activities during the Sinulog week.

“We just want to clarify that this has nothing to do with Sinulog,” he said.

Angkas recently had a major system maintenance operation on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Cebu, urging users to update their app. (HBL / JOB / MVG )


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