LTFRB fields out ‘mystery riders’ to check on overcharging in TNVS

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will shortly field out its “mystery riders” on transport network vehicle services (TNVS) following complaints of overcharging passengers.

The agency said transport network companies (TNC) have been reportedly charging “excessive fares” beyond the fare structure mandated under Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-036.

“The LTFRB intends to deploy mystery riders in the next few days to check on the compliance by the TNCs and TNVS operators with the proper fare structure and the terms and conditions of the MC,” the agency said in a statement.

The crackdown is in response to a complaint submitted to the LTFRB that a TNC was charging as much as PHP1,000 for a “priority charging fee” in a one-way ride. The LTFRB is currently investigating the complaint.

TNCs and TNVS operators found violating the LTFRB’s fare structure will be subject to fines and penalties under Joint Administrative Order 2014-01.

Under MC No. 2019-036, the fares for TNVS are P40 flag down rate for sedans in addition to P15 per kilometer (km) and P2 per minute, P50 flag down rate for premium AUVs and SUVs in addition to P18 per km and P2 per minute, and P30 flag down rate for hatchbacks and sub-compacts in addition to P13 per km and P2 per minute.

“Surge rate of double the sum of fare per kilometer and per minute travel is applicable for all types of TNVS,” it said.

On May 24, warning letters were sent to accredited TNCs E-pick Me Up, Joy Ride, My Taxi PH (Grab), and Cloud Panda against excessive fares.

“Based on MC No. 2015-016-A, otherwise known as the Terms and Conditions of a Certificate of TNC, TNCs are required to make the rate structure transparent before the potential passenger confirms the ride,” it said.

LTFRB has urged the public to report any irregularities they experience with ride-hailing platforms through the LTFRB hotline at 1342 or through its Facebook page.