The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has just published on their website the draft of the implementing guidelines for Department Order No. 2015-11 or the opening of a Premium Taxi Service.

Based on the draft, the operator must have a minimum of 20 brand new vehicles at the time of franchise application and each unit will have a cap age of 7 years old. All of these units must have an engine displacement of at least 2000cc or higher, or its equivalent if using an electric or hybrid powertrain or powered by alternative fuels.

Each unit must have climate control, a global positioning system (GPS) for tracking and a navigation device. It must accommodate at least four passengers and not have a fixed route within a specified area. Windows must be clear and unit colors must be in accordance with LTFRB guidelines.

The top light of these vehicles must display ‘Premium Taxi’ and its drivers in uniform at all times with valid IDs on display.

In order to compete with online transport systems, the operator must be able to transact online and via smartphone apps, and also have the facility to accept credit or debit card payments.

Operators are also required to have a workshop and depot space of at least 15 square meters per vehicle and a total area of at least 750 square meters, which will be ‘separate from any existing workshop or depot already occupied by or assigned to other taxis in their fleet.’

The LTFRB is looking to authorize a total of 5,580 units of premium taxis for starters.