In the Philippines, it’s a common habit for people who ride taxis or other public transportation to send an SMS to a family member containing the plate number of the vehicle before boarding. Many dangers face commuters every day when riding public vehicles – difficulty hailing buses and taxis, accidents, holdups, and pick-pockets. Informing loved ones before each journey is a small step to ensure a passenger’s safety.
A new app called Pasahero taps into this trend in a more advanced way. Users input the plate number of the vehicle and can upload a photo of the vehicle or the driver. The app then tracks the movement of the vehicle. The app has a panic button that’s easily accessible while in transit. Users can select trusted contacts to be alerted if something goes wrong – like an accident or a holdup. The user’s trusted contacts can then report the incident to the authorities.
Broadcasting network ABS-CBN created Pasahero to compliment the existing selection of public transportation apps in the Philippines. Meaning ‘passenger’ in Filipino, Pasahero especially applies to rural areas where a number of muggers and pick-pockets choose different public transportation vehicles as their modus operandi.
Part of the plan to improve the app is to link the panic button to the emergency hotlines of government bodies in charge of traffic operations such as the Land Transportation Office and the Metro Manila Development Authority.
Given the difficulty of commuting in the Philippines, Tech in Asia has already spotted a number of startups that focus on solving the numerous problems – there’s a bus booking app, a carpooling system, and a platform to report taxi drivers who overcharge their passengers.
Pasahero is available for free on iOS. It will also be available soon on Android.
(Source: ABS-CBN News)
(Editing by Paul Bischoff)