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Feb 17, 2018 @ 20:15

New Grab-Uber rival targets Cagayan de Oro after opening in Davao


A new player in the ride-hailing industry is training its sights on making this city its second expansion site, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 10 said.

Hirna, a play on the phrase “here na” or “here already”, said Cagayan de Oro will be the next city to establish its operation following its launch in Davao City last month.

Aminoden Guro, LTFRB-10 director, said Hirna would be the first provider in the city ahead of more popular ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab have not yet established a significant presence here.

Francisco Mauricio, Hirna chief executive officer and president, said by choosing Davao and Cagayan de Oro, they aimed to establish a foothold in Mindanao and work their way up to Visayas and Luzon once the business started to pick up.

Maurico said one of the key differentiating factors of Hirna was the “driver rating system” that keeps track of the drivers’ disposition on the road.

Mauricio said Hirna has data analytics that look at the number of rejections made by drivers, citations, attitude problem, and other negative issues.

“It [analytics] will collate to a driver rating system that would be shared between taxi operators and the LTFRB. The driver is then rated. We will know who the model drivers are and who are not,” he said.

He also assured the drivers and operators that Hirna will have favorable effect on their income as the new player will not be imposing extra charges but only a minimal fee.

Guro hopes the driver rating system would change the drivers’ outlook since their driving behavior and how they treat their passengers will be monitored. This will enable the agency to take appropriate action if the drivers violate existing transportation laws, he added.

Among the complaints that LTFRB has been receiving from passengers included rejection, bad hygiene, and drivers wanting in good manners.

At present, the city has 2,691 taxi units and close to a thousand operators, who were encouraged by the LTFRB-10 to consolidate their franchise by forming a cooperative or a corporation so they could be united, Guro said. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/PNA)

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