The company differentiates itself from Uber and Grab by using vans to transport up to seven people, a nice service for some employers
As Indonesia continues to grapple with its ride-hailing economy, and China hinted it will reveal official industry guidelines in the near future, the Philippines quietly gave approval to a third taxi-app company to operate in the country.
U-Hop, which has mixed the third-party hailing economy with a shuttle service, has announced that on March 11 it got the green signal from the Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The other companies legally allowed to operate as a ride-hailing service in the country are Uber and Grab.
U-Hop differentiates itself from Uber and Grab by utilising shuttle vans that can fit up to seven people, a strategy the company justifies as both a means to ease traffic by getting private vehicles off the road and an option to get home safely.
Users pay the fares in advance, so a week of round-trip rides will cost P693 (US$14.83) per week or P2,970 (US$62.56) for a monthly subscription. Unlimited rides are P1,400 (US$29.96) for a week and P6,000 (US$128.40) for a month, according to a Rappler report.
A major target for this service would be companies that could transport a decent amount of employees in a comfortable, and, considering Manila traffic, more predictable manner.
It also uses on a slightly different payment model for its employees. Rather than the driver earning money per trip, U-Hop designates a ‘service area’ for its vans and drivers will split the revenue from that area evenly amongst themselves. The idea is to prevent drivers from fighting with one another for fares.
The company also offers U-Hop Cars which uses private sedans much like Uber or GrabCar.
“We want to provide the commuting public a transportation network system that’s affordable and does not increase its fare during rush hour and giving tips is not compulsory. They arrive at their best, anytime, anywhere,” said the company in a statement.
U-Hop also provides some nice perks in their vans, most notably free Wi-Fi on board. The company runs a 24/7 command centre, offers free roadside assistance and free emergency assistance.
Currently, the service only operates within Metro Manila.
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