The LTFRB has issued yet another warning to a ride-sharing company to cease operations in the country. For the second time in 2017, the government agency reminded Wunder, an online carpool service company, of the cease and desist order they issued earlier this year.
In the statement of the LTFRB, it said:
"Please be informed that on 27 January 2017, LTFRB issued an Advisory against Wunder Carpool ordering it to cease operations as it was operating as another form of Transportation Network Company (TNC) without coordinating with the agency.
Once again, the LTFRB is strongly warning Wunder Carpool to cease and desist immediately as those that are operating are considered colorum. Otherwise, LTFRB will be constrained to take legal action against Wunder carpool and all responsible parties involved."
As per their website, Hamburg, Germany-based Wunder is present in Metro Manila and Cebu as part of its Philippine operations. It also operates in the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bagalore.
The tech startup essentially calls itself a 'non-profit' service, but by collecting fes for rides technically makes them covered under local rules and regulations requiring to be registered as a TNC (Transport Network Company) and their 'members' as TNVS (Transport Network Vehicle Service) providers, according to LTFRB officials.
How the system works
"Passengers schedule when they want to leave for work and the app automatically calculates carpool matches for the next several days and confirms a fixed price. Drivers are presented with carpool requests and they have the option to accept or skip.
Passengers help cover the cost of the trip by paying the driver in cash. For example a 15 km trip would cost approximately 60P in Manila. There is no surge pricing. Fixed pricing is critical as it helps the driver recover basic costs such as fuel only. No profit is possible."
Wunder has since replied to the LTFRB:
“Wunder is actively collaborating with agencies in Metro Manila to implement common-sense solutions to improve congestion. As the only non-profit carpooling app in Metro Manila which empowers car owners to fill empty seats.
Wunder is the ideal technology to accelerate the carpooling schemes that have recently been encouraged by local agencies in Metro Manila. One great example is the new carpooling lane on EDSA. We welcome all agencies who would like to join us in taking more cars off the road and are confident we can solve the traffic issue by working together.”
Besides Wunder, Angkas was also ordered to cease operations on January 27, 2017. The latter voluntarily suspended their services last month but is currently seeking status as a TNC.
The LTFRB also told Arcade City not to continue their services in the country. The agency claims that the company did not apply for a TNC application and did not consult with the board.