TACLOBAN CITY- One of the country’s leading transport providers, Grab, is soon to launch its operations in this city with destinations across Eastern Visayas.
This was disclosed by Grab officials in a press conference on Thursday saying they are ‘excited’ in coming to the city, the regional capital of the region.
Initially, about 100 privately-owned cars and 50 units of existing taxi based in this city have been identified by Grab as their possible operators.
Leo Gonzales, spokesperson of Grab Philippines’ public affairs unit, said that they have conducted a feasibility study since last year before they decided to come to Tacloban to operate.
“We go around Tacloban City which is the regional hub of Eastern Visayas. The daytime population of the city is close to one million; everybody travel in and out of the city. We’re excited to come here,” he said.
With their operations, Tacloban City will be the ninth area in the country where Grab operates.
At present, it operates in Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro City, Baguio, Davao City, and Pampanga.
Gonzales said that they will first conduct a three-week dry run in the city before going to full operations.
He said that they have decided to have the existing taxi units and privately-owned cars in the city as their partners and not to bring their own units to help further congestion of traffic.
Tacloban City is suffering from a worsening traffic situation due to the increased number of vehicles, both public and privately-owned, plying its major streets.
Mel Lloron, spokesperson of the regional Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said that the coming of Grab to the city would be of big help not only to the commuters but even on their campaign on modernization of public vehicles.
This is because only vehicles of around three years are to be allowed to become Grab partners, he said.
“The presence of Grab in the region is really a good thing for the transportation industry. I hope the operators will help (our) modernization program,” Lloron said.
He also said that the operation will also help address concern on drivers who ask exorbitant fare among its passengers.
As to how much will be the Grab fare is still to be discussed by the LTFRB and Grab management. (JOEY A. GABIETA)