U-HOP: Philippines’ first app-based shuttle service
Because of the worsened traffic situation in Metro Manila, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has pegged our productivity loss to P2.6 billion every day. Furthermore, JICA said that if we do nothing by 2030, that amount would reach P6 billion a day.
That’s why we need transport solutions.
First there were the app-based car services. The original concept was brilliant; individual car owners would give a ride to those plying the same routes as theirs for a fee. Simply put, it is taking the idea of carpooling and incentivizing it for charging for fare. The result? We get less cars on the road.
But then this concept became an enterprising model. Individual car owners were no longer giving lifts to people, they were operating their cars as cabs, and down the road, they began purchasing fleets. The result? Now we have even more cars on the road.
Experts have said it over and over again, the only solution to this behemoth of a traffic problem is mass transport. But while we wait for the infrastructures and facilities for that, we offer an alternative. An app-based mass transport system we call U-HOP.
Think of the UV express at the terminals near your homes and offices. They are convenient because it is mass transport and it is cheap. Now take that service and make it app-based, you no longer have to wait for long lines.
Here’s how it works: you sign up for the service. You have an option to pay for daily round trips for a week or for a month, or you can pay for unlimited rides for a week or for a month.
You pay for these services using a card that you load up as how you would load up your cellphone. Using the app, you choose your preferred pickup time, place and destination. The app will sort out who among its users will be in the same vehicle and will generate a route so users can be picked up from where they are.
The shuttle will send you a message three times to notify you of its distance to your pickup spot. If you’re late, the shuttle will not wait for you. But U-Hop allows you to rebook the next ride. You are entitled to one (1) free rebooking for a week. If you have bought the monthly service, you are entitled to five (5) rebooking for that month.
Adding to the convenience of an app-based service, the U-Hop Shuttle System has in place a verification process to ensure safety. We screen our partner drivers strictly and through the app, we also verify our passengers.
Because it is a shuttle system, there are pickup times you will have to choose from. But if you prefer the ‘taxi way,’ meaning you have a specific time away from the options, we offer an “On-Demand” service. This is more expensive than the shuttle service, but it is still less expensive than its car services counterparts because we assure no surges in fares. It follows a uniform base fare (P40 for cars and P100 for vans) and a P5.70/km fare flow.
Staying true to our goal of lessening cars on the road and maximizing the concept of car-pooling, we encourage everyone who will opt for the “On-Demand” service to gather a group before booking. You and your neighbors who work in the same area can book one car.
U-Hop is an all-Filipino company ran by people who have over 20 years experience in transportation, business and information technology. They have studied the Philippine market and they are convinced that an app-based mass transport system will help alleviate our traffic problems. Being an all-Filipino company benefits the passengers because we offer cheaper services than foreign companies.
We have had this idea for a while but we wanted to follow the law. On May 2015, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) created the Transport Network Company (TNC) to accommodate app-based services. We have applied for the TNC status and awaiting approval before we can finally roll out our service.
As of August 2015, we have received 900 applicants for operators and 304,000 for members. We have set up four (4) offices in the National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
To make sure there is no excess in cars, we do not accept new operators if there are no increase in members. We want to make sure there is a balanced supply and demand.
We are targeting setting up operations in more regions in the Philippines, and in the future, expanding to Southeast Asia and the USA.
We at U-Hop also envision a colorum-free road. We encourage colorum operators to instead register with us. We offer a guaranteed minimum payment stipulated in contract. We have fuel and cash incentives and we have a command center that will offer medical, road, fire and police assistance to operators and members.
We are businessmen but we also believe that transportation is a public service. We prioritize service over profit and we take into consideration the bigger picture. We want convenience to our passengers, we want to include the lower and middle class through our cheap service but most importantly, we have a vision: we want less cars on the road.
Below are the services you may choose from, and its prices:
* Members can avail the following Services:
* Round Trip – P693.00 Weekly
* Round Trip – P2,970.00 Monthly
* Unli Ride – P1,400 Weekly
* Unli Ride – P6,000 Monthly
* And choose the following service areas:
* Metro Manila
* Metro Cebu
* More service areas to open every month!