More good news to brighten up your Monday: the Department of Transportation and Communications has announced that it will begin to recognize public utility vehicles operating under ride-sharing apps such as Uber under a wholly-new classification created just for them.
Under the new Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) classification, a Transport Network Company (TNC) is defined as “an organization that provides pre-arranged transportation services for compensation using an internet-based technology application or a digital platform technology to connect passengers with drivers using their personal vehicles.” TNCs will provide the public with online-enabled transportation services known as a TNVS, which will connect drivers with ride-seekers through an app.
The government arm will be imposing certain standards for TNVS eligibility, such as the requirement of global positioning system (GPS) tracking and navigation devices for convenient and safer services. Only sedans, Asian Utility Vehicles (AUV), Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), vans, or other similar vehicles will be allowed to operate under this category with an enforced maximum age limit of seven years.
In addition, Operators are required to acquire a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for every vehicle to ensure accountability. Drivers, on the other hand, will also be screened thoroughly and must accredited by the TNCs and registered with the LTFRB.
In a DOTC press release, Secretary Jun Abaya recognizes that people appreciate the safety and convenience these ride-sharing apps bring. “œWe 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,” he said.
Uber has responded to the new announcement, saying that this marks a historic day not only for the country but also for the Asia-Pacific region. “We hope it paves the way for more collaboration in cities and countries across the region,” they stated in a new blog post published yesterday.
Along with a new category for ride-sharing apps, the country’s transport arm is also creating rules for ‘Premium Taxi’s, another category of taxis that will implement booking software, GPS, and cashless transactions.
Uber and LTFRB had an altercation sometime late last year, where a registered Uber vehicle was apprehended in an entrapment operation.