New mobile app barker.ph to enter local public transport arena

Mobility has become quite the challenge with the threat of COVID-19 pandemic still present. With very limited transportation options, coupled with government-mandated restrictions on capacity,  those who are going back to work with the easing of lockdown restrictions find themselves unable to get to their respective workspaces.

TechTaxi Inc. seeks to change all that. The Filipino-owned software company has announced the arrival of barker.ph, a mobile application eyed to bridge the gap between public transport and commuters.

The free mobile app will help commuters reserve their place in public transportation queues with a few simple taps on the app.

According to TechTaxi Inc. CEO Vincent Calaor, the program aims to “digitize” and streamline the process and possibly cutting queue times, which would benefit operators, drivers and commuters.  

 “Barker.ph aims to digitize this process for all of the parties involved including the operators, drivers, and the commuters. Association and transport groups simply need to coordinate with our team to register their destinations and they will be able to use its technology to manage and record the terminal queues including driver and vehicle details at several different locations,” Calaor explained.

barker logo

Drivers need to simply download the driver app and log-in. Once they’re near any registered vehicle terminal, the app will ask if they want to line their vehicle in queue.

Based on a statement from the app's makers, drivers will be able to check how many other units are in line and the number of passengers in barker.ph’s priority line. If the driver confirms for the terminal point, the app automatically records that the vehicle is in queue and will give real-time updates on estimated time for onboarding passengers.

“With this workflow, the system will be able to calculate exactly when a passenger can take the ride and avoid overcrowding the terminals since the barker.ph users will only need to go to the terminal on their time allotment. The app not only helps to digitize the queueing system but also directly aids in ensuring social distancing at terminals and less personal contacts between individuals at high-traffic terminals,” Calaor added.

The app, which will only be available to Android users as of the moment, will have a dry run in one city in Metro Manila after today’s launch.

Commuters may be able to use the app through these simple steps:

  1. Check and choose the terminal points and routes. The app will show the estimated time the vehicles will onboard
  2. Confirm place in the priority line reserved for the users of the app
  3. Be at the terminal 5 minutes prior to the scheduled time for onboarding
The technology team of TechTaxi Inc. expressed firm belief that the country is inching slowly but surely towards digital transformation.

Calaor told Carmudi Philippines that they are targeting to soft-launch the program next week as they are still on the dry-run stage of the program.

The initial users, Calaor told, will be UV Express drivers/operators stationed in Meycauayan/Trinoma and Malolos Trinoma. 

The contactless/cashless payment option is still under consideration to further help users meet the government's physical distancing guidelines.

“Part of our objective is to help. Our target is to help commuters. We saw that since June, public transport is very limited. Also, we want to assist in contact tracing, as we could use our system to trace who rode what at a given period,” he added.

Photos from barker.ph Facebook Page

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