Taxi dispatch app to expand through franchising-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
SMARTPHONE taxi dispatching application MiCab plans to expand its coverage in the country through franchising, its
developers announced on Monday.
The mobile application which is piloted in Cebu will eventually be rolled out in other key cities and eventually across the country in the coming months.
MiCab is a taxi dispatching service that will allow people to get a taxi just by using a mobile phone app.
In a few weeks, developers said MiCab will release a version that can work even without an Internet connection, the first for a taxi dispatching service. The app will be able to use SMS as a data connection to make the system work, said MiCab co-founder and developer Eddie Ybañez.
The application was formally launched last Monday at the Crown Regency Hotel.
Next IX chief executive officer Bobby Suson said they target business process outsourcing (BPO) workers and foreign tourists, like Koreans, as regular users of the mobile application, given the frequency of their cab usage. Next IX is an investor of MiCab.
Aside from talking to taxi operators, Suson said they also plan to partner with BPO companies and Korean schools for the mobile service.
MiCab was founded by Ybañez, Kenneth Baylosis and Keith Levi Lumanog.
Passengers need only to download the MiCab application for free on their smartphones, key in some basic information and their description. They can request for a taxi by just tapping the application, which will then send a signal to available taxis within a two-kilometer radius.
Currently, MiCab has partnered with Ken Taxi. Some 60 of its fleet are equipped with smartphones for the initial implementation. Suson said they aim to have at least 200 taxi under its fleet to engage in the application. They are also in talks with other taxi companies to enroll their units into the program.
MiCab charges taxi drivers P30 a day for the smartphones and data load credits. Passengers on the other hand, need only to pay P5, on top of their taxi fare, to the driver for using the application.
MiCab is currently available for Android devices but developers said it will be available for iOs and Windows devices next month.
Ybañez said they are in the process of improving the payment scheme. Suson said they are looking into building an e-wallet payment system that will have other applications.
Suson said MiCab is beneficial for taxi drivers. He said not only are they assured of a consistent flow of passengers but also of security.
He said the upside of this application is that taxi operators or owners can keep track of their fleet in real-time. “Rather than invest in radios, taxi operators can now use cellphones to track where their assets are,” said Suson.
Passengers, on the other hand, would know before-hand the basic information of the taxi they will be riding such as the taxi driver’s name, plate number, body number and current location among others.
In case, passengers leave their belongings, they can also easily track or review which units they rode through the information in the system, Ybañez said.
Baylosis said they plan to promote the application through social networking sites and among taxi drivers.
They also plan to improve the application by putting in social features and other value-added information.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2013.