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MiCab Positions itself as an Uber Alternative

 Lawyer Bong Suntay of PNTOA (third from left) and Pablo Sarmientro of Atomm holds hands with Eddie Ybañez and David Varcher of Micab to symbolize their partnership. Photo by Patric P. Tulfo. Business Mirror

The recent troubles by Uber with regards to regulation issues with the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have created an enormous gap in the transportation need of thousands in Metro Maila and Cebu where Uber has been operating. 

On the morning of August 15, LTFRB suspended Uber operations for 1 month due to non-compliance with its requirements. The detrimental effect on the riding public was immediate and the internet was filled with complaints from regular Uber users.

But another viable alternative is being provided by technology. Taking advantage of the wide use of smartphones, a new smartphone application was launched and is hopefully granted approval by LTFRB.

MiCab is a smartphone app that functions just like Uber and Grab that enables the user to hail a taxicab using smartphones. MiCab has been operating in Cebu and Iloilo for two years and now Metro Manila will be the next phase of its expansion of operations. 

The app was brought about by necessity according to Eddie Ybanez, its founder. He said difficulties of hailing conventional taxicabs in Cebu are worse than in Manila and that is why MiCab was developed to serve those who would rather take alternative transport.

MiCab’s operations were successful in Cebu where they have 600 accredited taxis and 200 in Iloilo. 

Having signed a formal agreement with the Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila (ATOMM) and the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA), two of the largest taxi associations in the country, MiCab is confident that they can also expand successfully in Metro Manila.

The features of MiCab are superior to the systems being used by both Uber and Grab. It has its own call and chat interface that gives users and the drivers real-time communications that enable the user/customer to know exactly where the taxi is located in the course of waiting for the pickup. Also, it has a built-in ticketing system, an electronic wallet for payment and has reward points for the drivers as incentives.

Unique with MiCab is that it uses existing taxicab units that enhance their abilities but does not require new cars to be deployed on the road thus, easing traffic congestion. An upcoming feature is a button wherein the customer can push with regards to dangers and threats. There is also no “surge pricing” unlike in both Uber and Grab. It has a Php50.00 booking fee that goes to the driver and taxi operator so that everyone benefits for its use.

MiCab is also into advertising that uses both traditional and digital media. Another future feature will have it tie up with a healthcare organization and even a logistics and delivery service.

The transport industry will thus have greatly enhanced its delivery of services not only in human transport but also of packages and cargo.

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