New app to help flag down taxis in Cebu City
FLAGGING a taxi in Metro Cebu area is expected to be easier with Micab, a smartphone application that works as a taxi dispatching service for a P5 fee.
The system is accessible to passengers with Micab’s tie-up with the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) which is giving out 500 Samsung Galaxy Y phones to selected taxi drivers to help in their traffic data gathering.
“We are making it more convenient for the motorists to access public transport. We are making a judicious distribution of taxis,” Citom executive director Rafael Yap said in a Micab press conference held in a Cebu City restaurant yesterday morning.
Under the partnership agreement, Micab will be allowed to install their taxi dispatch application on Citom’s galaxy phones to widen their coverage.
Eddie Ybañez of Micab said the Galaxy Y phones will complement the Android phones they have already installed on 60 Ken Taxi units. They hope to increase their fleet to 1,000 units by yearend.
Micab app is available on Google Play. Anyone may log in and register to avail of Micab services.
Under the Micab dispatch system, passengers will have to tap their application to request for a taxi.
The application will locate Micab-enabled units located within a two-kilometer radius and assign a taxi to pick up the passenger.
In using the app, the passenger will have to key in some personal details for proper identification by the assigned taxi driver.
A message is also sent to the passenger’s mobile phone in order to recognize her assigned taxi.
A P5 fee is charged to the passenger on top of her taxi fare when she disembarks.
Bobby Suson, Next IX CEO and founder, said they are conferring with some mall and restaurant operators to make their services available to their customers.
The Micab dispatch service is a more convenient alternative to mall taxi stands for example where passengers are made to fall in line before they can get a ride, Yap said.
Yap said Citom’s partnership with Micab is mutually beneficial.
He said Citom needs more taxi units to carry their galaxy phones and help in their traffic data gathering while Micab can expand their coverage especially in Cebu City.
In turn, Yap said Micab will help Citom monitor the proper use of their Galaxy phones.
Yap said the 500 Galaxy phones units they distributed are part of the World Bank grant to help the city government study the viability of operating a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system here.
They have so far distributed 150 phones starting in February.
Citom’s Samsung Galaxy Y phones are attached to a charger and placed on the dash board of the taxi units.
Signs and alerts are sent on the phone’s GPS map to especially advise drivers of traffic accidents, road repairs and road closures.
The phone is also equipped with an icon which the driver could tap to send emergency signals to the police and Citom personnel.
Citom is using the Galaxy Y phones when online as the GPS transmitter that sends real time data to their server and tracks down the unit’s speed.
The project was designed to source crowd information through the Global Position System (GPS) technology to help Citom manage traffic in the city.
Yap said collected data can also help them identify the condition of city streets and the intervention needed like the installation of traffic lights or railings in order to help improve traffic flow in an area.
Citom’s traffic data is also posted on www.cebutraffic.org to give motorists an idea of whether traffic is light in certain city streets.
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