Transportation is one of the essential things in our lives. Whether you live in the city or farther away in the suburbs, having a reliable means of commuting around town is essential, especially if you want to arrive at your destination in comfort and in style. In Manila, killer traffic can often turn a 20-minute drive into two hours of hell, especially in inclement weather. One of the ways by which I think traffic can be reduced is through ride sharing, which is exactly what local startup Tripid is doing.
In our earlier interview with Tripid co-founder and CEO Michael Ngo Dee, he shared that his startup essentially improves utilization of a resource that’s already existing: private vehicles. We often see solo drivers plying the city’s streets, which means cars are under-utilized. Meanwhile, commuters are left to compete with other riders for space in the MRT, buses or jeepneys. Those who can afford it can take taxi cabs. But let’s face it — taking the cab can be expensive if you commute to and from work every day.
Tripid tries to match vehicle owners with commuters, such that they can carpool and share their resources. Drivers get to share a seat with fellow travelers. Commuters can then share a nominal amount for fuel expenses — certainly cheaper than paying for a cab. Of course, the added value here is that riding a private car can be safer and more enjoyable, especially if you are able to find reliable carpool-buddies whom you can ride with on a regular basis.
Read also: Dynamic carpooling goes social with Tripid
Tripid initially launched as a web application and offered a mobile-optimized version of its website for smartphone and tablet users. With the launch of this latest version, Tripid now highlights its mobile applications for Android and iOS, which make it easier for users to create routes and book rides while on the go.
In the earlier releases of Tripid, payment had been a direct transaction between driver and passenger. With this re-launch, though, the app now has a built-in payment system, which makes it easier for users to pay and receive payments. Users can top-up their accounts with PhP100, 300, 500 and 1,000 denominations (US$2.28, 6.85, 11.42 and 22.84, respectively). Top-up payments can be made via PayPal, G-Cash and Dragonpay. Co-founder Mike told e27 that the team is also working on a mobile credits-based system, which will let users pay with their cellular bill or prepaid credits.
Even with direct payments now being discouraged, drivers can easily withdraw their earnings from their Tripid Wallet into their PayPal accounts. Mike says the team is working on integrating their wallet system into the mobile app for more convenient top-ups and withdrawals.
Here’s where the Kickstart Ventures-backed startup‘s business model actually comes, as the startup takes a small cut from ride sharing revenues. As it matches demand with supply, I can say it leads to an optimal level of resource-sharing amongst drivers and passengers. This is what makes Tripid one of my favorite local startups so far, especially because it’s utilitarian, practical and eco-friendly.