Grab temporarily stops GrabBike operations
MANILA, Philippines – Grab Philippines on Thursday, February 4, stopped the operations of its motorbike service called GrabBike, heeding an earlier order from the land transport regulator.
"GrabBike will temporarily be stopping operations effective today, February 4, 2016," the ride-hailing app company said in a statement.
This was after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on January 27 ordered GrabBike to cease operations until the regulator has promulgated guidelines to authorize the service.
"We stand firmly on our belief that we have created an innovative solution to the country’s transportation problem and we are working towards finding a way to continue providing it to the community," Grab Philippines said. (READ: Could this be GrabBike's last ride in the Philippines?"
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on the sidelines of an agency meeting that "the decision stemmed from our priority to protect passenger safety."
Asked if his agency plans to create a new transport category for two-wheeled vehicles, Abaya replied: "Personally, I have some concerns on safety. A lot of transport officials in other countries would say: 'I hope you don’t follow us because we just have to many bikes, which caused a lot of accidents for our people.'"
Citing the 2015 World Health Organization road safety report, the LTFRB said more than half (53%) of those who die in road accidents in the Philippines are motorcycle riders.
The LTFRB also cited a leading builder of Japanese motorcycles and motorcycle parts, which says motorcycle accidents ranked 4th as the top causes of death in the Philippines.
Despite the resistance from the government, Grab said it is still hopeful that the authorities will reach a positive decision regarding the possible regulations to the service. (WATCH: Road-testing the GrabBike)
"We’ve done this before with the support of our loyal Grabbers and we hope to be able to do it again with GrabBike," Grab said. – Rappler.com