When GrabTaxi and EasyTaxi successfully initiated ride-hailing transport services in the Philippines sometime in 2014, nobody back then thought the two companies were creating a new necessity. When Grab introduced GrabCar and the U.S.’ Uber came to Manila, the transport commuting landscape has never been the same again.
Now that Uber is gone in the Philippines (and the rest of Southeast Asia), Grab is left as the sole standing ride-hailing service that passengers in Metro Manila use to book convenient rides. But not too many people are aware that there are other options available in the market like Germany’s carpooling service Wunder.
Did you know that there are a few homegrown ride-hailing apps and services that are operating in key cities across the country? We’re starting to focus our radar on these three proudly Pinoy app-services:
In July 2017, U-Hop officially launched its ride-hailing app and services in major cities—Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Baguio, Boracay, Cavite, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Angeles City, Zamboanga, Subic, Lucena, San Fernando, General Santos, and Bicol.
When U-Hop started operations in July 2016, it initially offered shuttle services (with a maximum capacity of seven passengers per van). Now, it is operating as a transport network company (TNC) just like Grab and the recently pulled out Uber. Its mobile app facilitates booking of taxi, private car, and carpool rides for destinations within 15 kilometers from the passenger’s current location.
This taxi-hailing app currently works in Metro Cebu and Iloilo. The service started in Cebu in 2016 and is working its way to operate in other parts of the country like Davao and Metro Manila soon.
The app works like most other ride-hailing apps that Filipinos have been made familiar with in the past years. A passenger must download the MiCab app so he/she can hail a taxi. Upon booking of a ride, the passenger gets connected to the driver through the app. He/She is also asked to rate the service after arriving at the destination.
Davao City has its own cab-hailing company—Hirna, launched in December 2017. The name comes from the phrase “here now,” which Davaoenos equate for speed and convenience. It is currently eyeing a nationwide expansion.
As a duly accredited LTFRB taxi-hailing service, Hirna’s mobile app facilitates fast and reliable booking of an available cab in the passenger’s area. Hirna is operated by rent-a-car company Avis Philippines, which brings its expertise in managing transport fleets into the table. The company is also in partnership with Globe Telecom (for mobile network coverage) and the Metro Davao Taxi Association (a group of local taxi operators).
Aside from mobile booking via its app, passengers can also book by calling a 24/7 hotline—intended for those whose mobile devices don’t support downloading of apps and those who do not like to book rides online.