The Southeast Asian game-changer in the taxi industry is looking to launch a new service in Cebu, moving a step ahead of Uber!
GrabTaxi is hoping to launch GrabCar in Cebu and Davao sometime by the end of the year but says they “want to make sure that we hit our numbers, we can’t really say right now.” Although the famed car-booking app service, Uber, expressed the possibility of expanding to the said areas last year, there have been no news as to when or if there are any definitive plans. If GrabCar pushes through with expansion, it looks like GrabCar might have the first-mover advantage this time.
GrabCar – the latest car-booking app
After their success with the taxi-booking service, GrabTaxi challenges Uber with their latest service, GrabCar which allows booking of private vehicles. The service arrived in the Philippines in early 2014 around the same time it was launched in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Since then, the company has not slowed down, making several big moves such as the new economy class available for 4-seater sedans, the creation of GrabCar+ which gives options for more premium cars, a cashless payment system, and the first and only of its kind to receive accreditation with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) as a Transport Network Company (TNC).
GrabCar vs Uber
The founders of GrabTaxi proved themselves as innovators in differentiating themselves from Uber in the additional choices they provided such as the economy class and GrabCar+, and in pricing their services. Unlike Uber, GrabCar customers know exactly how much they’re paying for, capping rates at twice the regular prices, even during rush hours. The company opted to charge by kilometer and not per minute while Uber charges depending on whether you go for the more expensive cars.
Uber has also been recently getting a lot of bad press, particularly in not taking enough measures in ensuring the safety of passengers. The US-based service has been banned from India due to a report of an woman who was allegedly raped by an Uber driver. Also, an Uber Manila partner was apprehended in a sting operation conducted by local authorities for not having a franchise. The company’s peer-to-peer system was considered illegal because of the uncertainty in safety due to the lack of regulation.
GrabCar partnered with vehicles-for-hire businesses that had their own fleets of cars, accredited by the government until the Department of Transportation created a new classification called the TNC. It’s under the new class that GrabCar received accreditation, the first and only service of its kind to be legally recognized.
The company has definitely proved to be an innovator in the land transportation industry but despite already eyeing a timeline for expanding to Cebu, the company is currently being cautious in going out of Manila.
Photo credits: Woman in Digital