Finding a ride in the streets of Metro Manila and other major cities in the country has been proven to be a cumbersome task for most. This burden of getting a ride was quite alleviated by the introduction of various ride sharing and taxi hailing applications like Uber and Grab. But with these two major players facing government regulatory problems, alternatives are being considered by consumers, including MiCab.
MiCab, is a start-up company based in Cebu City and founded by Eddie Ybañez in 2012 after he met Kenneth Baylosis during the Startup Weekend Cebu. He was inspired by how rarely a taxi cab passes by his place and the need for him to ride a jeepney just for him to go and hail a taxi whenever he’s travelling and needs to go to the airport. His first idea was the possibility of being able to get a taxi with just a text message.
With the continuous growth on TNCs or Transport Network Companies, MiCab is now able to give taxi rides to commuters with a lower booking fee. Besides this obvious facts, there are also a lot of other great features that the taxi hailing app has to offer. Below are twelve amazing facts about MiCab that everyone should know.
1.) One of the Hottest Startup in the Philippines
MiCab is one of Gineersnow Top 40 Hottest Startups in the Philippines for 2017. The list is composed of different privately-owned startups in the country. The factors taken into account were growth, concept originality, number of application downloads, the equity participation of investors, and its stage of funding. Startups that made to the list ranges from Financial Technology, Enterprise Technology, Health Technology to Digital Consumer.
Some of the notable startup companies in the list includes apps like the digital wallet Coins.ph and Paymaya, the job hunting platform Kalibrr, and even Rappler. Being in the same list as this well-known and established companies is a proof that MiCab is something to look out for and try out.
2.) No Price Surges
Surely using Uber and Grab is really convenient specially if you are not familiar with your destination place of you are in a rush, but one of the most common complaint of Uber and Grab users is the very high surges in their pricing. Price surging occurs when there is a large volume of passengers looking for a cab to ride and the number of cars available is on the opposite, just like how supply and demand and pricing works in the economy. At certain times, price surges in Uber or Grab could go up to 100% higher than the regular fare.
MiCab on the other hand has a fixed price policy wherein the price is made known to the rider and driver before riding. There will be no surcharges even at peak hours or times of high taxi demands. The passenger will also immediately know the amount he or she will pay regardless if the driver picks a different route or stuck in the heavy traffic.
3.) Low Booking Fee
Beside from the fact that riders don’t have to worry about surcharges, MiCab also offers one of the lowest booking price to any ride sharing app or taxi hailing app. Booking fees on Uber and Grab are at around Php70 per ride. MiCab on the other hand only charges around Php50 booking fee per ride. It might seem a little difference for something classier, but in reality you are only getting the same service at a much affordable price with MiCab. But in the long run, the Php20 difference can a big thing especially for those who commute and ride taxi on a daily basis on their way to work, home, or school.
4.) Integrated Chat and Call System
Unlike Uber where the rider or the driver needs to have a prepaid load in order to contact the other party, MiCab has its own chat and call system integrated into the app itself. With this, the rider can monitor where the driver is currently located while waiting. The driver on the other hand, can have receive a better instruction on where the rider is really located and does not need to rely only on the data provided by its GPS, confusion among riders and passengers about the dizzying pick-up points can be minimized with direct messaging with the driver. You can even book a taxi through texting only. All these benefits at no additional costs or load requirement.
5.) Different Modes of Payment
Imagine having to rush in the morning and in the process, you forgot to grab your wallet. MiCab has a built-in ticketing system with real human interaction, and credit card or debit card option for payments so you don’t need to go back just so you can have money for your fare. The taxi units are equipped with
Everybody loves rewards, from reward points earned from buying groceries at a certain supermarket to buying your maintenance medicines and even by just buying prepaid loads you get an equivalent reward. MiCab offers a rewards system similar to that of its international competitor Grab Car, you get a reward point for every ride you book. You can redeem these accumulated points for a fare discount. Who wouldn’t want to be rewarded just by riding a taxi to your destination, right?
Aside from getting rewards, users and riders can also rate their taxi rides and leave recommendation, suggestion or feedbacks to the driver and regarding their overall riding experience.
7.) One Push Emergency Button
With the rampant crimes and varying modus criminals have these days, travelling alone or late at night is something almost everyone is anxious of. There is always the need for you to be keen and vigilant of your surroundings. Good thing MiCab has its One Push Emergency Button feature wherein with just one tap, you can alert authorities or family and friends if you feel that you are in danger.
Senior Adviser for MiCab David Varcher highlighted this feature in an interview saying “Taking cab rides need not to be worrisome during peak hours because there are no surge fares. Women passengers at any time of the day, and especially at night, will be safe taking a taxi ride back at home. The passenger can call for help with a mere push of a button on the mobile app at sign of danger and threat.”
8.) No Additional Traffic + Premium Service
Unlike other popular ride sharing or taxi hailing services, MiCab will not add any additional vehicles on the road and cause further traffic. Instead, it makes use of what is already available. MiCab partners with local premium taxi operators who can meet their strict requirements for the comfort and safety of the taxi units before receiving accreditation, rather than partnering with private vehicles.
“We only partner with a city’s premium taxi fleet operator who maintains particular standards on driver checks, random drug testing, employee benefits, training, and vehicle maintenance. We want to ensure that we give the taxi-riding public a safer and cleaner ride every single time.” MiCab founder Eddie Ybañez stated in a phone interview with Cebu Daily News.
According to MiCab’s rules, a premium taxi operator must have at least 20 taxi units and the vehicles must be brand new, must have a color set followed that is given by the agency, and have a limit age of 7 years. There is also an LTFRB Guideline which states that the premium taxis must have a built in GPS device and an on-board electric fare payment machine for credit or debit card payments. There should also be a workshop and depot for each vehicle of at least 15 square meter of space per car.
9.) Advertising Platform
Aside from being a taxi hailing app, MiCab also doubles as an advertising platform. This patented platform permits companies to advertise their brands through indoor and outdoor advertising using the taxi units. Drivers use LED signs placed on top of the taxis and the tablets for the app to display advertisements inside the taxi. This way, both passengers and people outside can see the ads while the cab is on its way.
The advertising platform uses a GPS powered interface and with its growing popularity and increasing number of commuters using the app, has estimated to reach over 100,000 Cebuanos through the tablet alone and more than 700,000 for the LED signs outside. In addition, around 200,000 Ilonggos are also seeing these advertisements every month.
“Our system enables advertisers to schedule their ads, thus, targeting the right demographic, at the right time and at the right place.” Ybañez said in an interview.
According to the company, the revenues from this advertising service is a subsidy to the low booking fees, so there is no need for passengers to worry about price increases in the future.
10.) Available in both Android and iOS
With almost everyone owning a smartphone nowadays, it is great to know that despite being new in the industry, MiCab is already available in the two major operating system used by smartphones today. It is available for both Android and iOS users and might soon be available to other platforms like Windows Phones and others. Passengers can get the app from the Google Playstore for Android users and the App Store for Apple users or they can visit Micab.co to download it.
11.) Already Available in Manila
MiCab started in Cebu two years ago, with its Ken Taxi and Yoo Taxi as their first exclusive partners. With its proven success, the company decided to expand its operations in Iloilo City with Light of Glory Taxi as their partner. There were 200 accredited taxi units, each equipped with a tablet.
With the confidence of being able to replicate their success in the nation’s capital, MiCab formally signed an agreement with the Association of Taxi Operators in Metro Manila (Atomm), and the Philippine National Taxi Operators Association (PNTOA) last July 20, 2017. The company is aiming for at least 3,000 initial taxi units operating in Metro Manila by October. With the hopes of having an easier time with regulators like the LTO, MiCab is looking to increase the number of operational units up to 7,000 this year.
“Taxi operators are in one with the passengers in looking for a seamless, convenient, safe, worry-free transport service that everyone can use. This is a major reason we are partnering with MiCab; this will allow us to provide maximum convenience to our commuting public.” Atty. Bong Suntay, President of the PNTOA said in an interview after signing the agreement.
12.) MiHealth and MiCargo On The Way
MiCab started as a startup in 2013, the same year when Ideaspace Foundation, the incubator of MVP Group of Companies also started. But this start-up company is beyond providing a great taxi hailing app for the Filipino people.
The company is already underway with its healthcare endeavors partnering with one of the largest HMO or Health Management Organizations in the country. The app will be called MiHealth.
They are also in line for having a Logistics and Delivery services with their MiCargo plans. The company partnered with Gothong Southern Shipping Lines Inc. They expect to announce and launch both applications in the 4th quarter of the year.
In a magazine interview with metrocebu, MiCab Vice President for Marketing Kenn Costales bragged about these upcoming projects saying, “MiCab’s added advertising and management platforms are what sets us apart from other apps which only offer car sharing and taxi dispatching as their services.”
With the growing popularity of ride sharing or taxi hailing apps, it’s good to know that there are Filipinos who are stepping up their games and tries to go on head to head with established international companies offering the same services. The introduction of new players in this field is an indirect favor for commuters; the rising number of competition with this service will motivate companies to provide better services and features at a better price point. MiCab’s rising success, despite competing against well-known and reputable apps, serves as proof of its excellent quality and exceptional service.