Local software firm TechTaxi has announced it will launch on July 10 its mobile app called barker.ph, which allows commuters to reserve their slot in public utility vehicles, particularly in jeepneys.
The app seeks to provide a viable solution to the government’s directive mandating the reduction of the number of passengers to 50% capacity for each vehicle type whether it’s a private vehicle or public transportation.
TechTaxi said it has been in discussion with drivers and operators to address their predicament brought about by the new regulations. The company noted that the jeepney drivers are now allowed to ply routes but are prohibited from stopping to pick up passengers. Many drivers still do it though to maximize their trip in the hope of making ends meet, it said.
The app developer said the best option available for public commuters right now is for them to queue at terminals managed by specific groups. It noted, however, that the system isn’t regulated well with the rules oftentimes dependent on the barker or dispatcher’s preference.
Another pain point is the fact that passengers are required to manually write their personal details on a piece of paper – a tedious process that also exposes them to infection and data breach.
“Barker.ph aims to digitize this process for all of the parties involved including the operators, drivers, and the commuters. Association and transport groups simply need to coordinate with our team to register their destinations and they will be able to use its technology to manage and record the terminal queues including driver and vehicle details at several different locations,” Vincent Calaor, CEO of TechTaxi explained.
For the app to work, jeepney drivers of the participating groups will need to download the driver app and log in. Once they’re near any of the vehicle terminals, the app will ask if they want to line up their vehicle. The driver will be able to check how many other units are on queue and the number of passengers in barker.ph’s priority line.
“With this workflow, the system will be able to calculate exactly when a passenger can take the ride and avoid overcrowding the terminals since the barker.ph users will only need to go to the terminal on their time allotment. The app not only helps to digitize the queuing system but also directly aids in ensuring social distancing at terminals and less personal contacts between individuals at high-traffic terminals,” Calaor added.
Commuters will be able to use the app through these steps: