Classification to Allow, Regulate Safety of Transportation Network Vehicle Services;
In its effort to modernize transportation services and usher in the conveniences offered by technological innovation, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will publish later this week new categories of public transport conveyances to allow app-based services to operate in the country.;
“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,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
“The Transportation Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) classification will allow app-based services offered by Transportation Network Companies (TNC) to exist within our regulatory framework,” added the transport chief, who called for collaborative efforts between his agency, the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and TNCs a few months ago in order to formulate updated classification policies.
Under the new classification, a 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 DOTC is also imposing certain standards for vehicle 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. A maximum age limit of seven (7) years will be enforced.
Operators will be required to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) for every vehicle to ensure accountability. To promote passenger safety, drivers must be screened and accredited by the TNCs and registered with the LTFRB.
“Many people appreciate the safe and convenient services offered by the TNVS category. We want this to motivate other public utility vehicle operators to modernize, upgrade, and innovate their services for the benefit of the public,” Abaya remarked.
A new classification is also being created for Premium Taxis, which compared to regular taxis, will have the advantage of being equipped with GPS, of having online and smartphone booking capability, a 7-year age limit, and cashless transactions through credit or debit card payments.