DOTC lays down rules for new transport categories

Chrisee Dela Paz
DOTC lays down rules for new transport categories
The rules will guide companies that want to operate under the 4 new transport categories: Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), Premium Taxi, Airport Bus, and Bus Rapid Transit

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on Wednesday, May 13, bared the guidelines for operators who wish to be accredited under the 4 new transport categoriesaimed at decreasing traffic congestion through technology.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya has issued Department Order No. 2015-011, creating 4 new categories that will address increased demand for mobility and traffic congestion through “efficient use of road space.” 

“Our objective is to encourage innovation across all forms of public land transport in order to increase mobility on major thoroughfares, boost travel times, improve the quality, sustainability, and reliability of public transport services, and respond to the needs of the modern commute,” Abaya stated in the order published in newspapers on Wednesday.

He added: “We view technological innovation as a driver for progress, especially in transportation where it can provide safer and more convenient commuting options to the public. App-based transport services help address the increasing demand for mobility spurred by rapid urbanization.”

Under DO 2015-011, the 4 new categories are: Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), Premium Taxi, Airport Bus, and Bus Rapid Transit.

For application-based services providers that want to operate under the classification TNVS, the DOTC said they should offer “pre-arranged transportation services using an Internet-based technology application or a digital platform technology to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles.”

The department also created a Premium Taxi category due to “inefficient and uneven taxi availability coupled with poor customer service and lack of safety and security.”

For taxi companies that want to operate under the Premium Taxi category, their vehicles should not be older than 7 years, and equipped with global positioning system (GPS) tracking and navigation devices.

“Only sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), vans, or other similar vehicles will be allowed for these categories,” DO 2015-011 said.

Operators of the new transport categories would be required to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for every vehicle to ensure accountability.

To ensure passenger safety is not compromised, Abaya said drivers must be screened and accredited by the operators of the new transport categories, and registered with the LTFRB. Operators are also required to issue electronic receipts.

Uber Technologies vice president of policy and strategy David Plouffe said the company has transformed the way people move around Metro Manila with a safer, more reliable and efficient transportation option since it was launched 15 months ago.

“It is the right of every Filipino to have better, safer, and more convenient and efficient transportation. Our goal has always been to modernize policies and tap innovative solutions to push the transportation sector forward,” Plouffe said.

For her part, Grab Philippines deputy director general manager Natasha Bautista said the new categories would foster healthy competition with existing operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

 “We all agree that competition is healthy – it comes down to who will execute the best,” Bautista said.

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