Grab Philippines, a transport network company said they want to support the government’s public utility vehicle, or PUV, modernization program. Grab will invest in the program starting in 2018.
Public affairs manager of Grab Philippines, Leo Gonzales said that the company is willing to invest in PUV modernization in a few cities, including those outside of Manila.
“It can be in the form of modernized jeepneys, it can be buses, almost anything, for as long as we are able to participate in this important part of developing our transportation,” Gonzales stated.
Gonzales said that Grab has approached the Department of Transportation as well as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board with the idea.
He added that this investment would not be limited to just Metro Manila but would include other areas where it operates. They will spread from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Pampanga, and Baguio.
“We have not yet gone that far into how exactly we will go about it but we want to come in as a company that will probably be able to work with local operators,” Gonzales said.
The financial details of the investment plan in the PUV modernization program have yet been determined. Gonzales says the first step is to study existing routes to determine where new routes should be created.
Transport researchers partnered with Grab are assessing existing routes in Bacolod, Iloilo, and Pampanga.
Meanwhile, Grab is talking with City Integrated Transport Cooperative, Citrasco in Cebu to map out possible partnership or investment.
“We are open to talking to anyone. Now is the time for transport operators and movers to really work together,” Gonzales stated.
“Grab,” he added, “envisions a single network that would offer all modes of transportation – jeepney, bus, taxi, motorcycle, car, tricycle, and even bicycle.
“If we comply with all the requirements, I am sure that the government will consider us and any other eligible player to take part in the PUV modernization program,” Gonzales said.
Cebu has a total of 574,819 registered vehicles and motorcycles, according to the Land of Transportation Office in Central Visayas. By the end of 2018, they may have more than 800,00 registered vehicles which can aid in lessening of traffic issues in the area.