LTFRB welcomes entry of new transport services in Davao

LTFRB welcomes entry of new transport services in Davao
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THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Davao Region (LTFRB-Davao) is welcoming new entrants into the Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) sector due to the rising demand for convenient public transportation in Davao City.

In an interview on Friday, October 13, LTFRB-Davao Director Nonito Llanos III said, "It's open. Kung naay other TNVS na gusto magpa-accredit sa LTFRB... amo i-forward sa Manila ila application (We are open to other TNVS operators interested in accreditation with LTFRB. Their applications will be forwarded to our main office in Manila)."

Llanos made this statement while attending the launch of GrabCar in Davao City, joined by Davao City Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain, Jr., and other key figures from Grab Philippines, a leading super app. 

GrabCar is a ride-booking application that offers private vehicle services for an efficient means of urban travel.

Llanos disclosed that around 200 GrabCar units are expected to commence operations by year-end. Currently, unit drivers have a three-month window to complete the required documentation for their operation.

Grace Vera Cruz, country head of Grab Philippines, expressed the company's long-standing desire to operate in Davao City. However, she cited various factors, including internal considerations within Grab and external factors like government regulations and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as reasons for the delay.

She added, “For example, do we have the right people inside to lead it.”

Llanos underscored the urgency of addressing looming issues in the city's transportation system. 

The Davao City government is pushing for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project (DPTM), previously known as the High Priority Bus System (HPBS), which will deploy electric bus fleets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting climate action.

Since the loan between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Philippine government has been formally signed, the installation of the DPTM will soon serve Dabawenyo commuters.

He also disclosed that a prominent motorcycle taxi service is interested in operating in the city. However, he clarified that granting franchises for two-wheeled vehicles, like motorcycles, is beyond their authority. 

Authorization for their operation in a specific area would come from Congress.

"Pero so far under LTFRB, wala pa (There's nothing so far under LTFRB)," he said.

He also said that despite the growing number of TNVS and private units, it will not hinder the city's goal of encouraging private vehicle owners to opt for buses once the DPTM is fully operational. 

He explained that the additional TNVS providers will complement each other as they serve different demographics.

“Lahi na mga riders ilang gina-catter. Mostly [they cater] tourists and business people. Pag-abot man gud sa bus system sa Davao [City] puhon, ilang i-cater is mga common individuals [such as] students and MSMEs (They cater to different riders. Mostly, they cater to tourists and business people. When the bus system in Davao City is established, it will cater to common individuals like students and MSMEs)," Llanos said. RGL


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