Taxi-hailing app expands, goes head to head with Grab, Uber

By: Marites Villamor Ilano March 16,2016 - 10:17 PM


Passengers may book Ken or Yoo taxi in Cebu through taxi-hailing app MiCab. (MiCab Facebook)

The Cebuano developers of taxi-hailing app MiCab have ventured out of Cebu and partnered with a big taxi operator in Iloilo City in Western Visayas.

Preparations are also being made to bring the app to Davao City in Mindanao and, finally, to Metro Manila, said MiCab chief executive officer Eddie Ybañez.

In a phone interview, Ybañez said MiCab empowers big taxi operators who want to grow their brand by allowing them to compete with transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and GrabCar.

Passengers can download the MiCab app from the Play Store on Android or Apple Store on iOS and book a Ken or Yoo taxi in Cebu or Light of Glory taxi in Iloilo for a minimal fee.

MiCab partners with the taxi operators, distinguishing it from GrabCar or Uber, both of which partner with the drivers.

“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,” Ybañez said in a statement.

In Cebu, MiCab’s exclusive partner is the operator of Ken and Yoo taxi brands.

As of yesterday, Ybañez said more than 300 units may be hailed using the MiCab app. By April this year, he said they hope to equip all 600 Ken units with the MiCab app.

In Iloilo City, where the app was launched Tuesday, MiCab has partnered with the operator of the Light of Glory taxi. Each of its 200 units has been equipped with a tablet.

Ybañez said they were looking at about 500 taxi units in Davao and at least 2,000 units in Metro Manila to reach critical mass and succeed.

“We already have partners there. They’re just waiting,” Ybañez said.

Aside from the app, MiCab offers a patented advertising platform that allows companies to provide indoor and outdoor advertising in their taxi units.

This revenue stream subsidizes the booking fees of passengers, Ybañez said.

“We’ve deployed outdoor LEDs on top of the taxis. The tablets that the drivers use for the MiCab app will also run advertisements,” he said.

“This enables companies to advertise to around 200,000 Ilonggos per month. Our system enables advertisers to schedule their ads, thus, targeting the right demographic, at the right time and at the right place,” he added.

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TAGS: Cebu City, iloilo city, MiCab

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