Published: Thursday 18 January, 2018

GRAB & UBER Hatchbacks to be Banned Starting March 2018 Says LTFRB

The days of hatchbacks such as Wigo, Mirage, Picanto, Fiesta & Eon as Grab & Uber cars are numbered. Starting March 2018, such hatchbacks will be banned as Grab & Uber cars said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Around 10,000 units will be affected.

Grab Uber hatchbacks

Grab & Uber hatchbacks like Wigo, Mirage, Eon, Picanto, etc banned! (Grab/Uber logo)

According to the LTFRB, they need to implement this rule for the safety of GRAB and UBER riders. And this is not a new rule, it has been in existence from the start of the Transport Network Companies (TNC) accreditation by the latter failed to comply with the provisions.

“Hindi po ito bago, matagal na itong requirement ng LTFRB. The basic is sedan,” said LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada.

Thus, starting March this year, hatchbacks with engine displacement of 1200 cc and below will no longer be  allowed to operate as a TNVS vehicle, and about 10,000 Grab and Uber drivers will lose their jobs. Specifically, the car models affected by this implementation are hatchbacks such as Toyota Wigo, Mitsubishi Mirage Hatchback, Kia Picanto, Hyundai Eon, Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift 1.2.

UPDATE: LTFRB clarifies and revises its policy on hatchbacks, and changes application procedure for new applications starting February 5. READ HERE.

Lizada clarifies, however, that TNVS operators will be allowed to apply for ‘dropping and substation’ – meaning, TNVS operators can drop their existing hatchback models and replace it with a qualified car model without losing their accreditation.

For once, I have to agree with the LTFRB with this one. The said hatchback models are just too small to be used as public utility vehicles, albeit part-time as in the case of Grab and Uber. While they may be capable and comfortable, and I have ridden in quite a few of them under Grand and Uber, they certainly have limitations with regards to size and safety compared to sedans.

If they can’t be used as taxis, they certainly can’t be used as TNVS vehicles. My only question to the LTFRB be is: why implement it only now when those poor Grab and Uber drivers have bought and taken out loans on their hatchbacks?