September 28, 2020

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Tricycle-hailing app to ease commuting at night

A mobile application that will help increase the income of tricycle drivers as well as provide a safer and convenient commute around Butuan City, in the Philippines was developed by a team from Caraga State University.

As reported, Transeek was developed by a team composed of an Information Systems (IS) student and Information Technology (IT) instructors, who were inspired to create the app from their experiences as regular commuters in the city.

They found it difficult to wait for tricycles during late hours.

In addition to safety and convenience issues, Transeek also aims to address problems of “choosy” drivers and overpriced rides, especially at night.

Transeek, or transportation seek, is a tricycle-hailing mobile application that hopes to provide hassle-free booking for tricycle commuters.

Similar to how ride-hailing apps work, a single tap from the user will have Transeek looking for the nearest available tricycle for a ride.

The app, which will be available this year, utilises the internet and the Global Positioning System (GPS) of smartphones.

Transeek began last year as a start-up idea while still enrolled in Navigatú, which is a Technology Business Incubation (TBI) hub funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

Navigatú, taken from the word ‘navigation’ and inspired by Butuan’s Balangay Boats, offers incubation program and business skills course for start-ups in the region.

The hub guided the Transeek team in developing the app as well as its business strategy.

Based on a feasibility study on the system among 100 tricycle drivers in Butuan, the team found out that the average income of tricycle drivers ranges from US$ 7.67 (PHP 400.00) to US$ 9.59 (PHP 500.00) per day.

The app will be able to help the tricycle drivers to increase their income by up to more than 300%.

The base fare for a maximum of three passengers per ride with Transeek will be US$ 0.58 (PHP 30.00), with a service charge of US$ 0.096 (PHP 5.00).

Drivers will be getting US$ 0.48 (PHP 25.00) for every ride from the system. The app hopes to decrease the delays and standby hours of tricycle drivers in the city.

No time will be wasted, which the drivers like, because they do not have to drive around aimlessly hoping to find passengers in need of tricycles.

Drivers registered in the system will be required to comply for insurance, which most of tricycle drivers in the city fail to adhere to.

The team expressed their gratitude to Navigatú for the program, facility and network provided during the development and marketing of the application.

They were exposed to ideation, pitching and marketing activities, which they never had in classrooms. It helped improve their potentials for business.

Transeek is among the first batch of incubatees, together with six more teams developing local IT solutions for agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Facilities such as computer units and administrative functions are provided for free in Navigatú, thereby enabling them to develop their start-up ideas.

Navigatú Project Leader and the University’s Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) Manager said that they try to provide an ecosystem in the University that enables students and anyone to transform their ideas into businesses.

They give a venue for start-ups to acquire an entrepreneurial skills and mindset while generating solutions to existing societal problems.

They want the incubatees to realise the value of their skills, sustain their business up to more than 5 years and create more job opportunities.