MANILA, Philippines – Ride-hailing giant Grab Philippines launched a premium service for tricycles, in partnership with AutoItalia Philippines, the local distributor of 3-wheeled Piaggio Ape vehicles.
Grab Philippines head Brian Cu said on Monday, November 5, that the Euro-4 compliant tricycles aim to “fill in the gap for short-distance commute.”
“[GrabTrike] will fill in the short distance commute from the villages. The 3-wheeler would be able to service those areas in a much more efficient and budget-friendly manner,” Cu said.
GrabTrike Premium is an upgrade from GrabTrike, which currently uses regular tricycles in Angeles, Pampanga, and in Balanga, Bataan. The firm will be fielding 2,000 Piaggio Ape units, a light commercial vehicle based on Vespa scooters.
Since franchises for tricycles are under the supervision of local government units, Grab will be partnering with LGUs to roll out the service.
The Binalonan municipal government in Pangasinan is the first to adopt the premium tricycle service with 24 units.
Cu said the fare scheme for GrabTrike Premium depends on the rates approved by the LGU, on top of a P10 booking fee which will go directly to the driver.
For Binalonan, the local government approved a fare of P40 for the first two kilometers, and an additional P10 per succeeding kilometer.
More than being an “everyday app,” Grab aims for transportation modernization at its core, said Cu.
The P185,000 Piaggio Ape can reach up to 38 kilometers on a liter of gas, which is Euro-4 compliant.
Its transmission has reverse gear and has a maximum climb of 20.5% gradient – features a regular tricycle does not have.
Because of the Piaggio Ape’s relatively low acquisition cost, Grab and AutoItalia offer easy ownership access with little to no equity to driver-operators. LGUs may also opt to partner with the ride-hailing firm to modernize their local tricycles.
Grab said the package comes with a smartphone, preloaded with the app. – Rappler.com