Grab Philippines is seeking the endorsement of the Bacolod City Government for the creation of new routes in the city, Leo Emmanuel Gonzales, Grab public affairs head, said yesterday.
Gonzales said their company is very serious in supporting the government's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
He said the Department of Transportation, led by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, chaired by Martin Delgra Ill, came up with the Omnibus Franchise Guidelines so all PUVs will eventually be modernized starting with the jeepneys, he said.
Gonzales said that part of that process is the Local Public Transit Route Rationalization Plan. This is a plan for new routes of jeepneys that the local government unit will be in charge of.
If the city accepts and endorses their plan, the DOTr and LTFRB can now formalize the route and give the franchise, he said.
Gonzales said they met yesterday with Councilor Dindo Ramos, chair of the Sanggunian Committee on Transportation, as well as other city officials, to let the city know that Grab wants to be its partner in studying existing routes of jeepneys, understanding the flow of traffic, and knowing the needs of the commuters in Bacolod City.
Because Bacolod is growing, there are more places where people need to go. And not all these places are covered by existing routes of jeepneys. So they made a presentation to the city government yesterday on these new possible routes, he said.
This is something he believes the city will discuss, especially with existing transport operators, Gonzales said.
He said they do not want to compete with transport operators in Bacolod so they are targeting initially new routes not being serviced by PUJs. They want to come in as a partner and don't want them to lose their livelihood, he said.
Gonzales said they will schedule another meeting soon so they could present their plan to the Sangguniang Panlungsod and also meet other transport operators.
They also discussed with Ramos the possibility of Grab supporting the requirements of the city for CCTV cameras in major intersections to monitor traffic and maintain safety. They are exploring how they can help the city, he said.
Meanwhile, Gonzales also said they have less than 200 Grab cars in Bacolod and have about 100 units of Grab taxi. They have about 4,000 to 4,500 rides a day but the demand for a Grab car or “unique bookings” runs to about 7,500.
However, they can only fulfill about 60 percent of the demand. So they are looking at increasing the number of units, but are constrained by regulations, he said.
Gonzales said there has been an existing suspension of new applications for Grab car since July 2016 and they are working with LTFRB for its lifting.*CGS
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