LTFRB announces a new car service called Premium Taxi
The dance between Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Uber has been around for quite a while now with LTFRB wanting to shut down the car service company due to lack of proper accreditation, among other things. Fast forward to just recently, LTFRB announced that it will hold a consultation of sorts regarding new franchises for a car service called Premium Taxi. Could the two instances be just a coincidence?
Late last month, LTFRB on its page posted an invitation for interested parties for a “public consultation” that will talk about the issuance of new franchises for Premium Taxi. Premium Taxi, according to them, is a car service that requires a “four- or five-door automobile, sedan type, with engine displacement of 2000cc or higher (or its equivalent, if electric-, hybrid-, or alternate fuel-Powered vehicle)” that comes with the following operating conditions as per DOTC:
1. The operator must have at least twenty (20) premium taxi units in his/her fleet;
2. All vehicles must be brand-new at the time of franchise application;
3. All vehicles must be in color set by the LTFRB (Note: It is proposed that the color will be black);
4. All vehicles shall have a maximum age of 7 years;
5. All vehicles must be equipped with a GPS vehicle tracking and navigation device;
6. All vehicles must be equipped with an on-board electric taxi fare payment device capable of processing payments made with credit card or debit card;
7. The operator must have a facility for booking and dispatching by way of an online or smartphone-based application; and
8. The operator must have his/her own workshop and depot with a space of at least 15 sq.m. per vehicle.
With these happenings, netizens can’t help but think that the reason why Uber (and even GrabCar) have been under fire and are being kept under the radar of LTFRB and DOTC was because of this pending project that they were planning from beginning.
What’s your take on this subject? The comments section awaits.