Indeed, we’ve talked about bad traffic over and over in this region and it doesn’t seem to end. The Metro Manila Development Authority stated that there are 400,000 private vehicles that use EDSA and other major and minor roads everyday. EDSA is one of the major roads in Metro Manila that leads to the different cities, and a day without heavy traffic in this major road would be a miracle.
So lessening cars on the road can actually be a good solution, and Tripid, alongside several other startups, is trying to do its part.
A cashless ridesharing experience
A year after the launch of its web service, Tripid is now available as a mobile app. While it duplicates many of the web app’s features, several extras make it an envelope pusher: the app allows people in communities who share the same route to carpool. Since the launch, Tripid has already gained over 3,500 users on its web app, with 12,000 trips posted.
Of course, carpooling doesn’t come free. Users posting a trip can dictate the price that passengers have to pay. The service recently launched an e-wallet feature whereby Tripid passengers can pay their drivers through the app. Users can top up their accounts in increments of Php 100 ($2.32), Php 300 ($6.97), Php 500 ($11.62) and Php 1,000 ($23.24) and pay through PayPal.
Tripid CEO Michael Dee Ngo said: “generally people love the idea of a wallet feature, we’re finding ways to improve it by making it more convenient for our customers to top-up.”
Tapping on mobile travellers
Every feature in the web version is now accessible through the users’ phones. For a transportation startup, the creation of a native mobile app is logical. Now, users can easily find or schedule a ride on-the-go, resulting in more filled trips.
To address the security of users — especially when it comes to allowing strangers to ride with Tripid drivers — it will soon allow users to add fellow ridesharers within their location into either an open, closed or secret community. For example, a Tripid driver can tag a passenger he is not really acquainted with as part of his open community. He can then tag a group of officemates or friends as part of his closed community, and so on.
As Michael stated in his pitch last year, the service is about building a community of people who share rides together.
The team is still working on a number of additional features, such as allowing the Tripid driver to call his passengers and vice versa, as well as enabling users to connect to their social network.
The traffic problem in Manila has been on-going for decades now. While Tripid and similar Philippine apps like Ridefindand Ridein may not solve this in a snap, they hold promise by attempting to ease up transportation and lessen the number of private vehicles on the road.
(Editing by Terence Lee)