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Some views on Uber and Grab

March 2017
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I took screenshots of a DOTr social media post on Transport Network Companies (TNCs) and the comments made on the post. If the post is an accurate quote of the current LTFRB Chair, then it reveals how a top official of the LTFRB (and at the same time DOTr) thinks about such services and perhaps shows a lack of understanding for what these “innovative” companies are all about. I purposely put the word innovative in quotation marks because there are also challenges that Uber is currently facing.

But then can we blame the official and others of how they understand the business models of TNCs like Uber and Grab? Can we blame them when these companies’ models’ seem to be quite different from their original set-up that made them the popular modes that they are now in many countries? At the same time that they have become the bane of conventional taxis, it seems they are also killing off the good ones, too. In my opinion, Uber and Grab are treading a fine line between ridesharing/carsharing (their original model) and taxi services.

Here are some social media posts not too long ago regarding fare regulation being applied to TNCs:

 

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There are healthy (as well as inane) discussions online about TNCs. More recently, there were reactions when Uber appeared to take advantage of a nationwide jeepney strike. I guess people should take in different perspectives about TNCs and in the end, it is the commuters’ welfare that is important regardless of what modes of transport are available them. That welfare should be the priority of government and we should  not blame the latter when they are actually doing their jobs.

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2 Comments

  1. Prof maybe you can write some of your thoughts about this blogpost: https://joeam.com/2017/03/15/the-inimitable-jeepneys-of-the-philippines

    • d0ctrine says:

      Interesting article and discussions/comments there. I’m curious about his data and certain assumptions though. Citing the e-jeepney experiment as a good example (as I understood) is misleading because those units eventually became problematic and now there are few if any units that are operational. Perhaps the cost of the new jeepneys factor in new, more fuel efficient and lower emission engines? That alone costs a lot compared to reconditioned engines that now run conventional jeepneys. There is a more recent DOE report comparing various jeepney models (diesel, electric, LPG) done by UP Diliman. It should be with their Vehicle Testing and Research Lab.

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