Affordable no more: Rise in motorcycle taxi fares feared after Grab PH takes over Move It

Motorcycle taxi fares could soon be out of reach for commuters after Grab Philippines acquired Move It, a consumer group has warned.

Digital Pinoys national campaigner Ronald Gustilo said Grab, which enjoys a virtual monopoly of car-hailing services, is likely to bring its tried and tested formula of knocking out its competitors to the two-wheeled segment.

“With the ease offered by the digitalization of public transportation, TNVS and Motorcycle taxis have provided a more convenient option for commuters. However, we fear that with Grab’s backdoor entry, the pilot testing will be jeopardized and that fares will increase,” Gustilo said, asking the Department of Transportation to step in and strike down the deal.

Grab already integrated MoveIt bookings to its super app, which would directly compete with motorcycle taxi services Angkas and JoyRide. Both are under trial run as Congress considers legislative franchises on motor taxis.

Gustilo feared Grab will pull the same trick it did to win against its rival Uber, which eventually pulled out all operations in Southeast Asia to heed to Grab.

The Philippine Competition Commission has sanctioned Grab for anti-competitive practices and ordered multiple refunds to customers for overpricing.

“What used to be a P200 to P250 fare for a 25-kilometer trip is now averaging P500 to P800. There was even a time that it would reach more than P1,000 because of surge pricing. This can also happen to Motorcycle Taxis,” Gustilo warned.

“If Grab can do this to TNVS and passengers, how can we be assured they won’t do the same overpricing and overcharging to motorcycle taxis?” he added.