How Taxis Can Be the Disruptors Again Given the LTFRB Crackdown on Uber and Grab

Last week the LTFRB released an order that they will crack down on Uber and Grab drivers who don’t have permits. Apparently only 10% of their fleets have proper accreditation (90% are illegal). This will have a big effect on people who rely mostly on ride-sharing services for their daily transportation because the number of available Ubers and Grab cars will be lower than the usual. This is a big opportunity for taxis to get back their customers but they need to do it right and not be business-as-usual. It’s time for the disrupted to be the disruptor.

Please take note that I’m not passing judgement if what the LTFRB did was correct or wrong. I’m just sharing thoughts on how Taxis can make the change we’ve been wanting them to do in the last decade.

What Taxis Need to Do

They need to put technology and analytics at the heart of their operations to address the poor customer experience that taxi riders endure everyday. Here’s some unsolicited advice:

  • Create an uber-like app that will allow people to book Taxis to pick them up. A lot of countries have this already. I’ve used similar applications in Japan, Spain, and Singapore in the past. Very efficient and convenient (which is the selling point of Uber).
  • To keep drivers clean, honest, and courteous, put a transparent rating feature that can be tied to their performance bonus. This will reduce the smelly cabs, “pagtanggi”, and badly maintained cabs.
  • Change the boundary system to fixed salary + variable incentive based on performance.
  • LTFRB should set standards for cleanliness and taxi car model that all drivers and operators must follow.

Uber and Grab are not perfect. Heck they take forever sometimes to arrive and the drivers aren’t knowledgable. Taxis can provide those but they need to seriously fix the over-all customer experience as listed above. Taxi Operators have this golden opportunity to “strike back”. The question is if they will rise up to the challenge or their greed will get the better of them and they will stick to business-as-usual.

On Another Note RE: LTFRB

On July 26 Grab and Uber will most likely ask non-permitted drivers to stop their services. If they do that, both fleets will operate at around 10% of their total current car numbers. It will be crazy difficult to get a Grab or Uber then. If that happens I hope that the LTFRB is prepared for the insane amount of shade and rage that will be thrown their way. It will not be pretty. ^^;

This is part of our Disruption Series. Click below for other posts.

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Carlo Ople

Author Carlo Ople

Founder and writer of Unlocked.ph and for full disclosure I'm also the Vice-President for Digital Marketing Strategy of PLDT/Smart, the largest telco in the Philippines. Prior to this I co-founded a digital advertising agency (DM9 Digit) which we sold to Dentsu, the largest single branded agency in the world. I also co-founded one of the biggest tech websites in the country, Unbox (unbox.ph). Views do not represent PLDT/Smart and are purely my own.

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