Car-sharing app Uber launched on Wednesday, June 15, a new carpooling service in the country called uberPOOL, which allows riders going to the same place at the same time to share the journey and split the cost.
At the launch event held at the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) main office in Quezon City, Uber Philippines general manager Lawrence Cua said that Manila is the 40th city in the world where uberPOOL has been deployed.
Cua said the new service is meant to put more people into fewer cars on the road, while at the same time giving them cheaper fares. He said 300,000 new cars hit the streets of the Philippines in 2015 alone. In Metro Manila, it is expected that the number of cars on the roads will increase by 2.13% per year.
With a worsening traffic congestion challenge, Cua said Filipino commuters spend 1,000 hours or 42 days per year sitting in traffic. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) estimates that the economy loses P2.4 billion every day, he said.
Aside from the economic impact, the environment is also affected by traffic congestion with 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles, Cua added.
He said uberPOOL also helps cut congestion and pollution offers a credible alternative to car ownership. ?It?s carpooling at the push of a button. That means cheaper rides for passengers and less congestion on the city?s streets over time,? he pointed out.
For drivers, meanwhile, Cua said uberPOOL means less idle time and more demand overall because as the cost of a trip falls, more people use the service.
uberPOOL will be initially available for journeys starting in Metro Manila, the Internet firm said.
Here?s how uberPOOL works:
? Choose the uberPOOL option in the app. Enter your destination and request a ride.
? You?ll see your driver?s details straight away –name, photo, and the details of the car. As with uberX, these drivers have professional driving licenses and have undergone an extensive screening process.
? uberPOOL will then match you with another passenger heading in the same direction:
o That passenger will either be in the car at the start of your trip, in which case you?ll see their name in advance; or
o Your driver will pick them up along the way, in which case Uber will notify you via the app.
? Whether you?re first or second into the car, Uber ensures that you?re never taken more than a few minutes out of your way.
? At the end of your trip, you?ll pay just like a normal Uber trip and receive an electronic receipt.