Grab to partner with operators

GRAB Philippines is supporting the government’s plan to modernize the public utility vehicle (PUV) sector.

Leo Gonzales, Grab Philippines head for public affairs, yesterday expressed Grab’s interest to partner with local operators, like Citrasco, to help the country realize its transport modernization program.

Gonzales said the partnership may involve capital infusion and adoption of Grab’s booking and payment technology.

“We are open to talking with anyone to bridge that gap,” said Gonzales. “Now is the time for transportation operators and movers to really work together. Of course, there is competition, but consolidation is also important,” he added.

Gonzales said they want to implement a multi-modal form of transportation to link all the different transport modes into one long seamless chain to better serve the Filipinos.

The Grab official added they have already approached the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation and Franchise Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to let them know of their commitment to help in the development of a better transport network.

“We are open to investing into PUV modernization in different cities not only in Manila, but also in other cities where we have operations like Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Pampanga, Baguio,” said Gonzales.

Grab has already invested in conducting route studies in the different key cities in the country in preparation for their participation in the program.

“We’ve started some studies in Bacolod, Iloilo and Pampanga and we are working with some transport researchers to understand more the existing routes and possible new routes,” said Gonzales.

DOTr is in the process of rolling out a modernization program that will see a phaseout of jeepneys more than 15 years old by 2020.

The program aims to modernize the fleet of jeepneys plying the road through a low-carbon and low-emission vehicle technology.

Jeepneys should be replaced by those powered with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs.

The modern jeepney should also be equipped with safety features such as a speed limiter, closed-circuit television camera (CCTV), GPS, and dashboard camera.
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