The future of Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS

Used with permission from James Deakin (jamesdeakin.ph)

Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS in the Philippines is  an efficient lifestyle change according to netizens

A homegrown social media analytics company Research and Tech Lab (RTL), recently revealed the pulse of the online nation regarding one of the most successful tech-based transport medium in the metro today.   According to netizens, Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS. is a convenient alternative instead of facing the everyday commute woes of Metro Manila. But the recent monopoly of Grab is pulling down the effectivity of the system.

The advent of ride-sharing apps signalled a new transport phenomenon to Filipinos, especially in the metro.  From being just a go-to alternative when taxis are scarce and trains are packed, ride-sharing technologies disrupted the transportation tradition and eventually  became the preferred commute option for majority of the urban-dwelling Filipino netizens.

Recognizing the big impact of this travel innovation, the Philippine government dubbed the evolution as Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS. This basically refers to the regulation of all existing app-based ride-hailing services like the recently merged Grab-Uber.

Already a big chunk of the Filipino riding public relies on the efficiency of TNVS. Evidently, homegrown digital data analytics company Research and Tech Lab (RTL) studied 781 publicly shared sentiments across the social media platforms and revealed that almost half or 46.47% online Filipinos choose TNVS as their primary of transportation.

On the other hand, 24.46% go for taxis; 11.91% takes the bus; 11.01% travels via train platforms such as MRT, LRT, and PNR; and 6.15% prefer UV Express, Shuttle or FX.

Affordability is the main reason why most of the online samples obtained were divided among the different modes of Public Utility Vehicles. However, it is unmistakable that out of the 781 sentiments, the majority of riders likes the convenience, security and fixed fares that TNVS offers. Through TNVS, commuters save time and energy in waiting and bargaining with just a simple app.

Life without TNVS

Looking back at the time when TNVS are not yet operating in the country, commuters were always struggling; PUV’s were mostly full, it takes hours to catch a cab, and the drivers were negotiating high fares instead of using the metered fare system.

The arrival of app-based commute scheme gave birth to a new form of lifestyle. For its users, TNVS is generally more convenient and safe. With just a few clicks on your mobile phones, you can already book your transportation. Subscribers attest to the efficiency of TNVS, they describe it as a less hassle choice than PUV’s and it also has value-for-money fares. In addition, users say that network vehicles are definitely more reliable compared to taxis, the apps are user-friendly, credit cards can be used to pay and most importantly drivers are background-checked as an added form of security.  However, bad experiences are still inevitable and the TNVS transport companies can be held accountable for any glitch.

The transportation industry became increasingly dependent on the technology thus, the recent merger of Grab and Uber, two of the leading online commute providers in the country proved to be a dilemma to its users. Grab dominates the ridesharing market in Southeast Asia, boasting 2.3 million drivers in 168 cities across eight countries. Uber’s struggle to beat Grab resulted in a problematic deal.

91% out of 239 sentiments viewed Uber’s end of operations negatively. Grab’s monopolization of the TNVS industry resulted in higher fare rates and difficulty to book cars. Unfair practices such as removal of driver incentives were also reported after the merger. The domination of Grab likewise rendered higher ride-rejection rate and it left passengers with no other option but to accept ridiculously high fares rather than face an equally tiresome PUV commute.

The recent status of the TNVS industry presented challenges not only to both riders and partner-drivers; many related businesses will also be affected if TNVS operations continue to be complicated.

According to the netizens’ sentiments, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies and automotive sellers benefitted in the rise of TNVS due to the influx of vehicle buyers. Consequently, these companies will likewise feel the impact if the struggles of the TNVS sector persist. Should partner-drivers stop their services, monthly amortization of recently purchased cars might be affected and the boom of automotive selling could also slowdown. Meanwhile, taxi operators see the shutdown of Uber as an opportunity to again penetrate public transport.

The future of TNVS

To save the industry and to answer the public’s clamor for alternatives, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) already accredited three new transport network companies (TNCs) and are reviewing other applicants. These new players are expected to bring positive impact to the services of TNVS.

There are six new ride-hailing apps soon to operate in the metro. Prospected to accept drivers this May is GoLag short for Go Laguna. Their services will be available even in Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal and they will have a base fare rate of P40.00. Additional charges are P14.00 per kilometer and P2.00 per minute. Its surge rate is limited to 1.5 times.

Originally from Davao, HirNa will offer 24/7 customer service and booking hotline. Their services are not limited to smartphone apps as phone calls are also accepted. HirNa will use the metered fare system of taxi cabs to determine the fare.

Hype will use private cars like Grab but booking can also be done through SMS. Ads opportunities by Hype will give extra earning to drivers and operators while passengers can enjoy exciting promos and discounts. Hype will follow a base fare of P40.00 and an additional P14.00 per kilometer. It caps its surge at 2x and does not charge per minute.

Micab was founded in Cebu but also operates in Iloilo and now expanding in Davao and Metro Manila. Their drivers are required to undergo training and they have a feature that allows drivers to see rider’s destination. Micab will likewise use a taxi meter to determine the fare

OWTO is very similar to Hype and Grab but it will have a fixed rate of P12 per kilometer. Like Grab, it will limit its surge rate to twice the current fare.

U-Hop already opened its services to the public last April 16, 2018 already opened its services to the public last April 16, 2018, it allows passengers to share a ride like Uber and ride credits are also transferable and unused credits are stored. It has a 24/7 command center monitoring the drivers and passengers and offers a monthly membership fee of P3,999 to companies.
Though some netizens still have reservations on the business model of the upcoming TNVS competitors especially to the ones who will use taxi meters in charging the fare, the arrival of these new riding apps is by large an exciting and welcome change to its online users. The new SMS booking feature will also be favorable to offline commuters.

Though some netizens still have reservations on the business model of the upcoming TNVS competitors especially to the ones who will use taxi meters in charging the fare, the arrival of these new riding apps is by large an exciting and welcome change to its online users. The new SMS booking feature will also be favorable to offline commuters.

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