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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Only GrabCar, not GrabTaxi to operate in NAIA

MANILA -- Only private vehicles under app-based ride-hailing service Grab will be allowed to pick up and drop of passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and not taxis, airport authorities clarified on Thursday.

This came after the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Grab on the same day signed an agreement to allow passengers to book via GrabCar while in NAIA beginning March 14.

MIAA spokesperson Dave de Castro said that for now, only GrabCar and not GrabTaxi will be allowed to operate since the service is still in its experimental phase.

“This first year of implementation will be experimental then we will be assessing operations as we go through the month,” de Castro said.

There will be booths placed in designated areas at the terminals where booking agents will assist passengers. Even non-app users will be allowed to make reservations at the booths.

Pick-up locations in Terminal 1 will be at the main arrival curbside, pick-up location in Terminal 2 will be at the inner arrival curbside between bays 7 and 8, pick-up location in Terminal 3 will be at the secondary arrival curbside between bays 5 and 6 and pick-up location in Terminal 4 will be at the curbside.

There will also be a waiting period policy of only two minutes. If the passenger has not arrived yet, GrabCar drivers will have to leave. With this, GrabCar advised passengers to book rides when ready to board.

GrabCar will be charging passengers with the same base fare in all its other pick-up points at P30 base fare while P12 will be charged per succeeding kilometer.

De Castro said that its Grab’s rival, Uber will also eventually start operating at NAIA once it completes its accreditation requirements.

Beginning Friday, around 24 Grab personnel already will be deployed to NAIA and undergo an airport security seminar.

Senior Assistant General Manager Vicente Guerzon, who admitted that there remains to be a shortage in public utility vehicles (PUVs) in NAIA, welcomed the addition of Grab to airport passengers’ mode transport options.

“There are around 1,500 metered taxis in NAIA but even if we have these accredited vehicles, there’s still the need for us to have more transport vehicles here in our pursuit of giving passenger experience,” Guerzon said in the press conference.

Country Head of Grab Philippines Wee Tang Yee echoed Guerzon's statement, saying that this partnership moves the company a step closer to transforming and innovating the way Filipinos travel.

“Our partnership with MIAA makes heading to the next destination more convenient for the 50,000 people that arrive at NAIA daily,” the Grab chief said.

Aside from GrabCar, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and MIAA, last February 17, launched the Airport Bus System taking after the success of the Premium Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus Service.

At present, bus company AIR21 is operating the premium Airport Bus Service under the brand name UBE Express. There are a total of six bus units that will ferry passengers to and from the NAIA on a 24-hour basis.

Premium Airport Bus Service units will charge passengers with a flat rate of P300. There will be designated off-street passenger stops along routes initially identified to be major malls and hotels.

MIAA said that AIR21 will be adding more units until around 40 units will be available to ply passengers to and from the airport. (PNA)

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