Uber files petition to increase fares

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — Ride sharing service Uber Philippines on Thursday filed a petition at the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to increase its per kilometer fare up to more than double, depending on the time of day.

Uber is eyeing a 6.3-peso increase for its per kilometer fare for baseline service UberX. Under the petition, UberX fares in Metro Manila could spike to P12 per km from P5.7-- or more than double its current rate.

Uber said in the petition this will be subject to an "occasional decrease" or down to P9.00 on off-peak hours.

Meanwhile, the petition also calls for UberXL rates to rise to P18.00 per km from P8.55 per km, while UberBlack will charge up to P28.9 per km from the current P13.75, and UberX in Cebu up to P11 per km from P6.5.

Off-peak rates for UberXL will be at P13.5, while UberBLACK and Cebu UberX services may reach as low as P21.7 per km and P7.5 per km, respectively.

The petition retains the base fares as well as per minute charges for the services, Uber said.

In a press release on its website, Uber cited increasing expenses of drivers as the primary reason for the increase.

"The costs that driver partners have to bear to maintain their vehicles is projected to increase due to several factors, including requirements under the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) to further improve safety and quality of service, increasing fuel prices, and new excise taxes on petroleum," it said.

Earlier, ride sharing application Grab Philippines also filed a petition to raise fares by an average of five percent due to higher fuel taxes.

Uber said the increase was to enable driver partners to "earn sustainably."

"We are committed to investing in the business in the Philippines so riders and drivers continue to get the service they are accustomed to," it said.

The LTFRB recently cut down the number of Transport Network Vehicles Service units plying the roads in Metro Manila.

READ: LTFRB cuts down TNVS units nationwide

Last year, Uber also encountered bumps in its operation after it was suspended by the LTFRB for violating an order stopping the company from accepting and approving new applications for accreditation.

It resumed operations on August 29-- two weeks after its August 14 suspension--  after paying the LTFRB a hefty ₱190 million fine.

READ: LTFRB: Uber suspension lifted once ₱190-M fine is paid