Published: May 22, 2018 | Updated: March 23, 2021 | Posted by: Venus Zoleta | Car Insurance
Do you sorely miss Uber? That #sepanx feeling may soon be over because more ride-hailing choices have now become available for the frustrated commuter.
The LTFRB recently accredited some TNVS companies to compete with Grab. The ride-hailing giant may still be the dominant player in the TNVS industry, but new ride-hailing companies promise lower fares and better services. Could we finally say goodbye to overpriced fares and choosy, rude drivers soon?
A recent Boston Consulting Group study found that one in five (19%) commuters in Manila use ride-hailing apps for their daily commutes, with the city being the most reliant on TNVS in Southeast Asia. This means a huge demand needs to be filled—and Grab can’t do it alone. The new ride-hailing companies couldn’t come at a better time.
Get to know the six new ride-sharing apps you can use as alternatives to Grab.
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Go Lag is a transport network company that’s similar to any regulated taxi or rent-a-car company in the Philippines. Its name is a shortened version of “Go Laguna,” the province where the ride-hailing service is based.
In media interviews, Go Lag said it would charge lower rates than other TNVS companies, especially during rush hour. It also promised it would not allow drivers to cancel bookings they have already accepted.
No launch date has been announced yet, and the ride-sharing company’s mobile app isn’t available for download as of this writing. But it has started accepting TNVS applications for those who want to drive with Go Lag.
Hirna is Davao’s homegrown taxi-hailing app developed by car rental company Avis Global, Avis Philippines, and Metro Davao Taxi Association. It currently operates in Davao City and will soon be available in CDO and Iligan City. The company also plans to expand to Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Baguio, and Pampanga.
Unfortunately, it won’t serve Metro Manila soon, as the company wants to focus on improving taxi services in key cities outside Manila.
The Davao-based company uses 4,000 existing, legally operating taxi units to connect passengers with taxi drivers. This helps reduce traffic congestion because it discourages adding brand-new cars on the road.
Like regular cabs, Hirna drivers use a taxi meter to determine fare. No booking fees and surge rates are charged. Instead, the company earns from its taxi operators’ subscription fees.
Hirna takes pride in being the only taxi-hailing company with a 24/7 customer service and booking hotline. Those without an internet connection can book a ride by calling 0917-111-4888 (Globe) or 0999-221-4888 (Smart).
So far, customer feedback on Hirna’s service has been positive.
If you’re from davao, download the hirna app. Its a localized taxi hailing app which is way faster than grab. Also, it doesnt have a booking fee and we got a taxi even if it was raining and at a peak hour. They’re new so the taxi driver asked to spread hehe 🙂
— Kamja (@tetelmagdalera) Mayo 12, 2018
HYPE is a 100% Filipino-owned transport network company whose name stands for its core values: Honest, Young, Professional, and Empowering.
Passengers can choose any of the following ride-hailing services based on their needs and budget:
HYPE said it would have at least 20% cheaper fares than Grab because it charges only for the trip’s distance, not the travel time. Also, drivers won’t see the passenger’s destination until boarding, reducing the chance of booking rejections and cancellations.
HYPE also offers convenience to riders through its free SMS booking service. Even if you don’t have mobile data, you can book a ride by texting your pick-up and drop-off points and preferred vehicle type through the HYPE app. The system will then reply with the driver’s name, car model, plate number, and the fare.
Payment options include cash, credit card, debit card (via point of sale or POS), and QR codes.
The HYPE app is on beta testing and can already be downloaded on iPhones and Android smartphones. It had its soft launch on May 27 and will hold its grand launch on June 10.
Read more: 9 Ways to Make Money Using Your Car
Founded in Cebu, Micab currently operates in five key cities in the Philippines. It will soon be available in Davao where it will directly compete against Hirna.
Micab drivers use a taxi meter to determine the fare. Since the taxi-hailing service has no surge pricing, its fares tend to be lower than Grab’s. However, drivers can view the passenger’s destination for safety purposes, according to Micab. Because of this, a lot of riders complain about difficulty in booking a taxi and drivers canceling their booking.
Surprise! Mga 5 beses ako nagtry laging walang taxi kahit na laging “connecting to 12 drivers”. #CabMentality #MiCab pic.twitter.com/v0olSx9qBx
— Val Yutan (@ValNaMayMalay) Mayo 9, 2018
On the other hand, some riders have been able to book fast. They also noted the lower fares and better driver behavior compared to Grab.
A wholly Filipino-owned TNVS company, OWTO uses private vehicles for its ride-hailing service. You can choose from sedan, hatchback, subcompact, or SUV.
OWTO boasts of being the first among TNVS companies in the Philippines to have an in-app surveillance system for rider and driver protection. It also enables accurate investigation when a rider files a complaint through the app.
The OWTO mobile app is available for both iPhones and Android smartphones. The app accepts only cash payment for now.
A week before the app’s launch, some users who have downloaded OWTO aren’t satisfied with how it looks and feels.
OWTO’s app is so fucking bad ????
— Roy (@sonroyaalmerol) Mayo 9, 2018
The OWTO app looks and feels like an unfinished thesis project. Oh well, guess I’ll still stick with Grab.
— Ian (@iancore) Mayo 16, 2018
Initially launched in 2016 as a shuttle service provider, U-HOP has now expanded its ride-sharing services to include taxis, sedans, and SUVs. It also provides car rental, leasing, and corporate transport services.
In terms of security, the ride-hailing company has a 24/7 command center that tracks drivers and riders, allowing easier reporting and investigation of any incident.
Vehicle availability is a problem for U-HOP users for now.
What is the best ride-hailing app? Compare their prices and services. To start off, refer to this comparison table of TNVS companies in the Philippines.
Which of these new ride-hailing apps do you think is the most promising and affordable option? For a more tipid transportation alternative, biking might the best option for you. You can check this article about biking tips and where to buy one. Share your thoughts!
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Venus is the Head of Content at Moneymax, with 15+ years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications, PR, and journalism. She invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Outside of work, she’s crazy about cats and Korean dramas. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.