Get to know the new transport network companies

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This story was updated to include new information on launch dates and new features of Owto.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 23) — After Uber effectively left its business in the country, the ride-sharing market became the monopoly of transport network giant Grab. But it won't be for long.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) accredited three new transport network companies (TNCs) and are reviewing other applicants.

Grab Philippines Country Head Brian Cu was not bothered by this.

"Competition ensures we serve passengers, drivers to the best of our ability. We're always happy there are new players in the market," Cu told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Who are these new players, and what can the riding public expect from them?


GoLag, Inc., short for "Go Laguna," is named after the province where it is based. Its services will also be available in Bulacan, Cavite, Metro Manila, and Rizal. Its launch date has not been set, but the company expects to accept drivers by May.

GoLag told CNN Philippines its rates would be "lower than other TNCs, especially during rush hour."

In a statement, the company said it would have a multi-tier incentive program with loyalty rewards that assure drivers of a decent take-home pay.

Fare rate: Sedans will have a base rate of ₱40.00, with additional charges of ₱14.00 per kilometer and ₱2.00 per minute. Its surge rate is limited to 1.5 times.


Originally from Davao, HirNa is set to launch in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in June.

HirNa President Coco Mauricio said the company stands out because of its 24/7 customer service and booking hotline. Passengers who do not have a smartphone can book a ride through a phone call. Its app also contains hotlines to the LTFRB.

Fare rate: Unlike GrabTaxi, HirNa does not have a booking fee and its units use a meter to determine the fare.


Hype is an upcoming TNC that, like Grab, will use private cars. It is also set to launch in Metro Manila soon.

Its defining feature is the public can book a ride through text. According to Hype Chief Operating Officer Jen Silan, the Short Message Service (SMS) booking is free of charge for both rider and driver.

The service is also set to launch an in-vehicle digital signage display. Drivers and operators can earn extra from advertisements, while advertising content can create promos and discounts for passengers.

Fare rate: Hype follows a base fare of ₱40.00 and an additional ₱14.00 per kilometer. It caps its surge at two times and does not charge per minute.


Micab was founded in Cebu, but also operates in Iloilo. It will soon expand to Davao and Metro Manila although its application to operate in these additional areas are still with the LTFRB.

Micab Head of Operations Kris Montebon said the company follows a very stringent accreditation process for drivers. Its management keeps a copy of the security documents provided by its drivers who are required to go through training until they can manage the platform well.

"There's a good 20 percent of the drivers that we don't accredit because of requirement issues or difficulty in navigating the app," Montebon said.

MiCab also has a feature that allows drivers to see riders' destinations. Like Grab, Montebon said the feature was a safety measure and the company is open to tweaking it.

Fare rate: Like Hirna, MiCab also uses a taxi meter.


OWTO will also field private cars. It was licensed by the LTFRB in April. It will operate in Metro Manila and parts of Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal.

OWTO Chief Operating Officer Paolo Libertad said the app has a Silent Distress Signal. Riders only have to press a red button during emergencies while on trip, which will connect the client to the nearest law enforcement team.

It also follows a radial setting, where drivers can set a specific radius for where they want to pick up and drop off riders.

Fare rate: OWTO will have a base fare of ₱40, a fixed rate of ₱12 per kilometer, and a ₱2 per minute charge. Like Grab, it will limit its surge rate to twice the current fare.


U-Hop is a Metro Manila-based service that, like Uber, allows passengers to share a ride. It also partners with companies, grouping workers into a carpool. It opened its services to the public on April 16.

U-Hop works with companies to give their employees a ride to work. Pre-agreed pick-up and drop-off points are set. Partners can pay a monthly membership fee for 40 prioritized rides. Users may use the service for free after exceeding the allowed number of rides.

According to its website, "Ride credits are also transferrable and unused credits are stored."

U-Hop founder Marvin Dela Cruz said the company has a 24/7 command center monitoring the drivers and passengers. This makes it easier to report and retrace events in case of emergencies.

Fare rate: For companies, a monthly membership fee with U-Hop costs ₱3,999.

For passengers booking on the app, the fare has a base rate of ₱40 for a Sedan, ₱70 for an SUV or mid-sized vehicle, and ₱100 for a van. There are additional charges of ₱14.75 to ₱15.75 per kilometer and ₱1.00 per minute.

The fares are not subject to a surge and can be split among passengers.

Watch the full interviews with some of the new TNCs on The Source here.