HIRNA, the taxi hailing application in Davao City, is now available for download on all smartphones, the Metro Davao Taxi Operators Association (MEDTOA) on Monday said.
MEDTOA president lawyer Rogelio Largo said the app is already available since February 15, Thursday. He added that it can be downloaded through App Store or Google Play.
"Dabawenyos can now experience the convenience and affordability of this premier taxi-hailing app, conceptualized in and made for Davao City and in region," Largo said.
The advantage of the Hirna is ir has no booking fees, no surge pricing, shorter waiting time, and has 24/7 customer service support to answer queries and help passengers without smartphones book a ride.
Largo said the app also has the hotlines of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the passengers to easily contact the agency for complaints.
Hirna was developed by Avis Philippines, Inc., which is a Filipino company, for the MEDTOA, Inc., an association of taxi operators whose combined taxi fleet is around 3,500.
Largo said there are about 5,500 running taxi units in Davao City, and as of now, there are already about 1,900 units with smartphones with Hirna app.
He also said more taxi cab drivers are now undergoing training provided by Avis Philippines, Inc. to teach them how to use the app and navigational apps such as Waze.
"This is our response to the request of our city Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for Davao taxi operators to come up with their own booking app and provide improved service to the riding public," Largo said.
Duterte-Carpio earlier challenged the taxi operators here to come up with their own hailing app, to discourage Uber and Grab that utilize private vehicles from expanding their operations in the city.
The city mayor has openly expressed her aversion to these transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers as the operation of their accredited private vehicles will just add congestion to our already congested streets.
Largo said through Hirna, MEDTOA hopes to improve the quality of the taxi service as commuting public will now have the power to report directly to LTFRB any complaint or issue regarding driver's behavior, grooming, manner of driving, and taxi condition.
He added that Hirna will also reduce incidents of robbery, kidnapping and rape involving taxi drivers as the identities of the driver and the taxi units are all recorded.
"In case a passenger left his or her personal belongings in the taxi unit, Hirna makes it easy to trace the taxi unit and recover the belongings," he said.
The MEDTOA, Largo said, is encouraging the people of Davao to patronize Hirna. He added that Davao is now cut above the rest of the cities in the country, in terms of quality of taxi service with Hirna.
Largo said in the next couple of months, they will provide dashboard cameras, a closed-circuit television (CCTV), and a GPS and WIFI access in all taxi units.
"It is dream to make our taxis comparable to, if not better, than those of first world countries," Largo said.
Largo said those who will download and use the app between now and March 2018 will be recognized as Hirna co-founders, who shall be entitled to a host of benefits and privileges.