They say driving in the Philippines is not for the faint hearted. As for commuting, that can be even worse. That’s the problem that this startup aims to ease. Commute.ph is a web application co-founded by four young individuals. In a nutshell, its founders describe it in this way:
It is a commuting guide for Filipinos. It provides detailed directions that include step-by-step routes to take, what to ride, and how much. The directions provided are crowdsourced and driven by the community. Meaning, the directions are added by commuters or the people who know how to commute.
“There is still no good service for point-to-point directions here in the Philippines,” says co-founder Jolo Balbin, who’s just
19 20-years old. Google Maps, although it this kind of service, is aimed at drivers, not commuters.
It was December last year when Ian Maglalang, the other co-founder, pitched the idea to Jolo. The duo then met Camille Zapata through the WebGeek group and she joined the team as their designer.
Together, they joined Startup Weekend Manila and met their fourth member, JP Dela Torre. They coded and designed and worked on Commute.ph over the weekend of the contest. Despite not winning, they continued working on the web app as they deemed it to be usable already.
To this day, they only measure their users through website traffic. According to Jolo, they are getting an average of 30 visits per day and it’s slowly increasing.
Commute.ph is bootstrapped by its founders, and have no investors yet. They do not have a revenue model as such, and “just want to create a quality service for commuters.” Although in the future, ads or an API are some possible monetizations models they are looking into.
Currently, there are other sites in the Philippines – like ParaSaTabi.com – that offer the same kind of usability; but what makes Commute.ph different is the additional information their site provides, thanks to crowdsourced details and comments, such as fares and commuter experiences.
In the future, the group wishes to get into gamification, map integration, and mobile apps, as well as, they tell us, “releasing APIs for other websites to use and provide directions for their customers.”