Last month, April 2018, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of the Philippines (LTFRB) accredited five companies that deliver services that are more or less similar to that of Grab Ride Hailing Platform.
These five are OWTO, GoLag, HirNa, MiCab, and Hype, which are all unique in their own ways.
OWTO is particularly proud of its security system, which guarantees quick action and investigation for every complaint filed by a rider.
GoLag – short for “Go Laguna” – currently serves riders in Mega Manila and promises lower rates.
HirNa is based in Davao but has plans to expand across the country.
MiCab, which doesn’t impose price surges, has 10,000 cabs spread in key cities around the Philippines.
Hype is supposedly a lot like Grab but it also offers the option to hail a ride via SMS.
Yesterday, May 3, 2018, I checked how many of the above-mentioned Grab competitors already have an application ready for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store — and I saw that two of them have recently updated their app for public consumption on both markets: HirNa and MiCab.
HirNa’s app has a decent user-interface but I wish they’d integrate Facebook Log-In to make their registration process easier.
And apparently, if you’re one of the first to sign-up for the service, you become a HirNa Co-Founder. Or at least, that’s what the SMS verification code message tells you. Interesting.
As I’ve said, HirNa is based in Davao and I believe they are still building their pool of cab drivers here in Manila. I just hope they do it with urgency — or at least while there’s still a huge clamor for a Grab alternative.
I find MiCab to be a bit more promising. It has Facebook Login and the user-friendly interface is comparable to that of Grab.
This morning, I tried hailing a ride to Manila City Hall from our house in Tondo via MiCab app. There was only one cab in my vicinity and the driver didn’t take my booking.
These companies obviously have a lot to do to make their services more enticing. But I appreciate the fact that they’re already starting to work on it.
Grab has practically become a monopoly in the ride-hailing market, which perhaps explains the price surges that their riders often rant about on social media. I’m hoping that with the arrival of these viable alternatives, all of these players’ rates will be lowered, benefiting consumers in the long run.