Passengers of Wunder Carpool are blaming LTFRB for the firm’s shutdown

June 25, 2019 - 4:59 PM
EDSA traffic
Vehicular congestion along EDSA. (The STAR/Boy Santos)

Wunder Carpool Philippines will end its operations right before June ends, much to the dismay of its customers as the transport franchise agency continues to crack down on ride-hailing companies.

Wunder’s customers accused the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) of being unfair to commuters and making traffic worse rather than solving it.

The carpooling company which started in Europe bid its passengers goodbye on their email on June 24.

The last day of its operations will be on June 28.

“Today, we come to you with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is with a lot of hope and excitement that we look into what lies ahead but, on the other, one of our greatest journeys is coming to an end,” the email said.

Wunder Carpool’s app will also be pulled out in the next few days.

“Paving the way for a shift in the mobility status quo is definitely not going to be an easy task, but it is one that we’re prepared to tackle. To achieve that, cooperation with governmental bodies and organizations is crucial in order to make sure that the best interests of the population are always the main priority,” Wunder’s statement read.

The company did not mention the reason for its decision to shut down nor did it suggest it had some problems with regulators.

But that did not stop Wunder passengers from airing frustrations online against the LTFRB and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, or MMDA, for the inconvenience.

“If we keep on shutting down solution-oriented services because of our political biases or with capitalism in mind, I don’t think we will progress on bigger leaps,” Twitter user @alwynmancio said.

#BecauseWeShared also trended on Twitter as passengers tweet about their concerns about resorting to public transportation for their daily commute.

Aside from providing carpooling services, Wunder was also known for being environment-friendly.

Some customers also lauded the service’s affordability compared to other ride-hailing apps.

In the email, the company thanked them for their support.

“We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for all the love, support and enthusiasm with which you always welcomed us. You have shared your stories and routines and made new and long lasting friendships. This is the legacy we set out to leave and one we are proud to have achieved,” it said.

Campaign against Wunder

The crackdown on ride-sharing firms started in 2017 when LTFRB ordered Wunder, Angkas and CitiMuber Passenger as illegitimate Transport Network Companies.

TNCs are organizations that provide transportation via internet-based technology to connect passengers and drivers.

In December 2017, the LTFRB repeated its order against Wunder Carpool on Facebook.

Wunder issued a statement to defend its services in the comments section wherein a part of its message read:

“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.”