Grab eyes investment in PUV modernization
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Transport network company (TNC) Grab Philippines said it wants to support the government's public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program by investing in public transportation in 2018.
Leo Gonzales, public affairs manager of Grab Philippines, said the company is open to investing heavily in PUV modernization in various cities, including those outside of Metro Manila.
"It can be in the form of modernized jeepneys, it can be buses, almost anything, for as long as we are able to participate in this important part of developing our transportation," Gonzales told reporters in Cebu on Thursday, December 21.
He said Grab has already approached the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to raise the idea.
Gonzales added that Grab's investment would not be limited to Metro Manila but would also include other areas where it operates, such as Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, Pampanga, and Baguio.
"We have not yet gone that far into how exactly we will go about it but we want to come in as a company that will probably be able to work with local operators," he said.
Financial details of Grab's investment plan in the PUV modernization program have not been determined yet as Gonzales said the first step would be to study existing routes and determine new routes that would be created.
The company has already partnered with transport researchers to assess existing routes and possible routes, starting with Bacolod, Iloilo, and Pampanga.
In Cebu, Grab is open to talking with the City Integrated Transport Cooperative (Citrasco), the biggest transport group in the province, to map out a possible partnership or investment.
"We are open to talking to anyone. Now is the time for transportation operators and movers to really work together," Gonzales said.
Grab, he added, envisions a single network that would offer all modes of transportation – jeepney, bus, taxi, motorcycle, car, tricycle, and even bicycle.
"If we comply with all the requirements, I am sure that the government will consider us and any other eligible player to take part in the PUV modernization program," Gonzales said.
According to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Central Visayas, Cebu now has a total of 574,819 registered vehicles and motorcycles to date.
This means that from January to December this year, 167,889 vehicles and motorcycles were added to the existing 406,930 registered vehicles, said LTO Central Visayas Director Alita Pulga.
Cebuanos have been complaining on social media about Metro Cebu's worsening traffic.
By the end of 2018, Pulga said Cebu may have 800,000 registered vehicles. – Rappler.com