Philippines: GrabCar’s bike service hits a speed breaker as Transport Board halts ops

Grabtaxi mobile app

South east Asia is proving to be a tricky market to navigate for ride-hailing transport app companies.

Philippines’ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered a halt on GrabCar Philippines’ (MyTaxi.ph Inc) operation of its GrabBike service. The board has said, the service stands to lose accreditation if they fail to comply.

Incidentally, Philippines was also the first country to legalise ride-sharing services in Asia in May last year when it put in place a legal framework for app-based ride sharing services such as Uber and GrabTaxi to operate. The country also went ahead and created a new category of transport known as Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TVNS), covering vehicles for hire on these mobile apps.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said, on Wednesday, there were still no guidelines authorising the use of motorcycles for public transport.

MayTaxi.ph offers GrabBike via an Internet-based technology platform to facilitate a pre-arranged transport for passengers on two-wheelers.

Also Read: Philippines becomes first country to legalise ridesharing services; SG passes Bill to regulate third-party taxi apps

Ginez made it clear that the board will not tolerate any transportation network companies doing what MyTaxi.ph did until proper guidelines are set.

The board has only accredited MyTaxi.ph to offer Transport Network Vehicles (TNVS) using their digital platform technology which does not include motorcycles.

In a letter sent by LTFRB to MyTaxi.ph dated January 21, it directed the latter to cease within five days from offering motorcycle as mode of transport to the public.

The board has likewise demanded an explanation from MyTaxi why it is engaging in a service that the board has yet to authorised. Ginez noted a motorcycle service is not what the board had envisioned for these transport network services.

Also read: GrabTaxi invests $6m in safety features, to be rolled out regionally

To understand the Philippine landscape, a senator had filed a bill last July 2014 that seeks to ban motorcycle back-riders, citing more than 3,000 recorded crimes in 2013 involved “riding in tandem” motorcycle riders.

In the same month, the city of Mandaluyong in Metro Manila passed an ordinance banning “riding in tandem” among motorcycle riders. Some mayors in neighboring cities, including Manila itself, are also encouraging their city councilors to do same.

Also Read:

Malaysia’s GrabTaxi kicks off courier biz in Philippines

GrabCar hires new regional head of safety, invests $4m for passenger safety

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.