While everyone is busy comparing who’s got the best rides between Uber and Grab, a new player in the Philippine shore has silently entered into the Pacific introducing a quite the same carpooling ride-sharing app from Germany, Wunder.
On an email directly sent to us by Wunder, said that the European carpooling mobile app was initially launched in Manila in February and there have been more than 7 thousand users that joined the community generating around 45 thousand carpool matches of people going in the same direction at the same time. Based on the survey that Wunder initiated, over 20,000 people in Quezon City are using a car to commute downtown and 65% of them are driving by themselves.
“It’s no secret that driving in a car by yourself is the most expensive way to travel for individuals and society at large” says Sam Baker, Wunder’s Chief Operating Officer. “An average household in Metro Manila can easily spend over PHP 20,000 per year on fuel alone, not to mention the hours of time lost waiting in traffic” he says. According to the survey, 92% of commuters would be comfortable sharing a ride with someone else they met through an app, though only 32% know someone personally who carpools.
Okay. So what’s the catch and how does Wunder differentiate itself from Uber and Grab?
“After downloading and opening the Wunder app it immediately becomes clear that we look more like a social network” says Baker. The key feature of carpooling is that the drivers do not earn a profit because they are already driving to work and simply sharing empty seats in their cars.
“It’s an online carpooling community and not a professional transport service,” explained Baker. Wunder takes the age-old practices of sharing rides to drive to work with friends, family and your neighbors sharing the cost of gas and streamlines communication and coordination of carpools through a simple app.
Not a business-profit for budding entrepreneurs
The carpooling ride-sharing ride initial launch connects commuters to empty seats in cars from Quezon City to Makati. Drivers take a small detour and passengers help cover the cost of the trip, amounting to approximately PHP 60 for a 15 km trip, or approximately the price of public transportation. Payment will initially be handled with cash between the passenger and the driver but in the future Wunder may introduce an electronic payment option that has been very successful across Europe. Unlike professional drivers who make an income driving others as a service for many hours a day, Wunder carpoolers only recover basic costs such as fuel for rides they are already taking to work and back home.
“As a driver sharing a ride to work and back you could make an extra PHP 2,000 per month, essentially covering the cost of your fuel.” Says Baker “Not to mention solving the traffic problem while meeting nice people from your area!”
Basically its offline comparison is sharing a ride with a colleague. Simple as that. It’s not even possible for a driver to make a profit but just enough cash to cover the gas expense for the day or in a month.
On safety issues
Safety is also a top priority and community members themselves have ultimately proven to be the best judges of who they feel comfortable sharing rides with on the way to work: A transparent profile and rating system allows members to provide feedback on their fellow carpoolers.
“Initially costs will be shared among Wunder members with cash only and Wunder does not charge any commission in launch markets. When a market reaches maturity in approximately 12-18 months we plan to introduce electronic payments as well as a fee for passengers and drivers,” said Kinga Gawrońska, Market Manager at Wunder on their email.
So guys, if you want to know more about Wunder and ready to jump on another ride-sharing app player, download the Wunder mobile app on Google Play Store and App Store. Give us your feedback if you’ve already experienced a ride with Wunder.
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