Can U-Hop catch up with GrabCar and Uber?

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Just recently, a new app-based for mass transport service have started to make their presence known in the metro announcing the service that will equal or surpass the current on-demand app car services of GrabCar and Uber that are already popular to passengers who can’t get enough of the public rides in Metro Manila.


Unlike GrabCar and Uber, U-Hop focuses on multi-passenger service ride from different pick-up points (passengers are booked by group from a service area) to one specific destination. At first glance, it’s kinda blur how the service works. Arlene Cabangon, VP for Technology, U-Hop, explains to Kara David in one segment of GMA News TV aired in August 2015 that U-Hop is a shuttle service, much like a school bus, where passengers are picked up one by one and are transported to one destination.

Watch full interview below.

Think of UV Express where passengers need to go to a terminal, will have to fall in line before they get to the next van. The concept is much the same for U-Hop. The difference is, the passenger will have to book in advance his or her preferred pick-up location and schedule the time of pick-up. This is basically a car-pooling ride where passengers may or may not know each other. The fare for the ride for each passenger is only PhP 99 (for every 15 kms), roundtrip, for the day.

We analyzed and study the market here in the country and came up with a business model we cater for mass transportation.” said Cabangon during the interview.

The idea and concept is really good but how it’s going to be fully implemented is another thing that U-Hop will have to face in the present. We all know that GrabCar and Uber have already established their own fan base which U-Hop must also have.

I watched U-Hop’s info video and sorry to say, it didn’t present well. The animation is quite good but the narration was too slow. IMHO, U-Hop must invest in a more appealing and exciting video to start from.

Watch video on YouTube.

On their website, www.u-hop.com, there are about 16 countries that U-Hop targets to create its presence this 2015. According to their press release, “U-Hop is an all-Filipino company ran by people who have over 20 years experience in transportation, business and information technology. They have studied the Philippine market and they are convinced that an app-based mass transport system will help alleviate our traffic problems. Being an all-Filipino company benefits the passengers because we offer cheaper services than foreign companies.”

LTFRB denies U-Hop’s application as Transportation Network Company (TNC)

In a press release that came out on October 23, Atty. Ariel Inton, LTFRB Board Member, clarified in his statement, “I don’t know of any decision denying u-hop’s application to be accredited as tnc. What the board en banc did was to write a memo to Sec. Abaya saying that under the existing dept order and memo circular u-hop cannot qualify as a tnc. And there is a need to come out with a new denomination as a shuttle app base transpo service. A memo to the dotc sec is not a board decisiön. hence there is no decision yet on u-hop application.” The statement came out after LTFRB Chairman‘s tweet that denied U-Hop’s application as Transportation Network Company.

The following day, LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez released a statement saying,”U-Hop cannot operate yet. They will be colorum and we’ll apprehend them.” Ginez said he would write U-Hop on Monday “to formally inform them of the board’s decision and tell them to cease even the seminars they’ve been conducting. And to possibly close down their Facebook page until the matter is resolved.”

According to U-Hop they have presented all documents and followed legal process since July 2015.

This issue must be resolved immediately if U-Hop want to get a piece of the pie of the transport business. With the horrendous traffic and unreliable public vehicles, transport services like U-Hop, GrabCar, GrabTaxi, and Uber, are currently the choices of commuters who are helplessly burnt out of the massive inefficiency of the government to provide the public with better transport services.

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