A team of Information Systems (IS) student and Information Technology (IT) instructors from Caraga State University (CSU) developed a mobile application called “Transeek” to help increase income for tricycle drivers, and provide safer and convenient commute around Butuan City.
Angelito Cagulada, Jr., IS student and team leader mentioned that the idea for the app was inspired by his and his friends’ experiences as regular commuters in the city. They find difficulty in waiting for tricycle during late hours. Aside from safety and convenience issues, Transeek team also aims to help address problems of “choosy” drivers and overpriced rides, especially at night.
“Transeek” or “transportation seek” is a tricycle hailing mobile application that hopes to provide hassle-free booking for tricycle commuters. With a single tap of the user, Transeek will look for the nearest available tricycle for a ride. The app makes use of the internet and smartphones’ Global Positioning System (GPS). Transeek app will be available this year.
Its developers, the IS student and team leader Cagulada, and IT instructors, Ernest Jay Cubillas and Lemar Arnego, started Transeek last year as a startup idea while enrolled in Navigatú – a Technology Business Incubation (TBI) hub funded by Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Navigatú, taken from the word ‘navigation’ and inspired by Butuan’s Balangay Boats, offers incubation program and business skills course for startups in the region.
The hub guided Transeek team in developing the app and its business strategy. Just recently, the project allocated Php 2,000,000.00 from the investor for funds during its full operation. “We are now on the second round of deliberation with investors and partners, and hopefully we can operate by April or March,” told Cagulada, Transeek team leader.
Transeek in uplifting lives
Based on a feasibility study on the system among 100 tricycle drivers in Butuan, the team found out that the average income of tricycle drivers ranges from Php400.00 to Php500.00 per day. With the help of Transeek, tricycle drivers can increase their income to up to more than 300%.
Transeek base fare for a maximum of three passengers per ride will be Php30.00, with a service charge of 5 pesos. Drivers will get Php25.00 pesos for every ride from the system. Transeek hopes to decrease delays and standby hours of tricycle drivers in the city.
“We have interviewed drivers during ‘toda’ meetings and most of them liked Transeek since they don’t have to waste time roaming around to look for passengers,” said Cubillas.
Drivers registered in the system will be required to comply for insurance which most of tricycle drivers in the city fail to adhere to.
Behind ‘Transeek’: Navigatú on board
The team expressed their gratitude to Navigatú for the program, facility and network provided during the development and marketing of the application.
“Because of Navigatú, we were exposed to ideation, pitching and marketing activities we never had in classrooms. It helped improve my potentials for business,” said Cagulada.
Transeek team is among the first batch of “incubatees” together with six more teams developing local IT solutions for agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Facility such as computer units and administrative functions are provided for free in Navigatú enabling them to develop their startup ideas.
“Before, we just make IT systems because we like it. Now, it’s more on solving problems or helping improve lives,” told Cubillas of Transeek team.
Engr. Jeffrey Dellosa, Navigatú Project Leader and CSU’s Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) manager said that they try to provide an ecosystem in the university that enables students and anyone to transform their ideas into businesses. They give a venue for startups to acquire an entrepreneurial skills and mindset while generating solutions to existing societal problems.
El Psalms David Franco, TBI Manager added that they want the incubatees to realize the value of their skills, sustain their business up to more than 5 years and create more job opportunities.
Transeek will be available for Android smartphones. Learn more about the application and the team’s activities in their Facebook page.
Also, visit Navigatú’s office at the Mechatronics Building, CSU campus, Ampayon, Butuan City. You can also check their Facebook page.