Motorcycle Taxi Company Move It Wants to Tap Habal-Habal Riders as It Looks to Grow User Base to 1 Million This Year

Thanks to new app upgrades.
IMAGE Facebook / Move It

By the end of 2023, motorcycle taxi company Move It on Tuesday is targeting as many as one million users on its app, the company announced on Tuesday. The influx of new users will be supported by an app upgrade Move It implemented together with investor Grab.  

“Right now—ballpark—we have hundreds of thousands of users,” Move It general manager Wayne Jacinto said. “For this year, we target to hit one million users. The reason for this optimism is we want to have a higher standard. We are positive about this because of the new app’s features and reliability.” 


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Jacinto added that he is optimistic the company will be able to expand its user base this year thanks to innovations integrated into the mobile app, some of which he said will set a new benchmark for motorcycle taxi services in the Philippines. 

The Move It app now integrates safety and reliability functions from technology partner Grab, including a new in-app VOIP calling feature, a Share-My-Ride feature, and a 24/7 Safety Center that provides round-the-clock emergency assistance. Move It promises app uptime of 99.95 percent, ensuring a seamless booking experience especially during peak hours.  

The app also now integrates GrabMaps and Navigation, which is an advanced online mapping system powered by Grab's extensive data that provides optimized routing that adapts to real-time road changes and updates. Move It now also has cashless payment options, including debit and credit cards.


“Our enhanced app is a timely response to the evolving needs of passengers and rider-partners,” Jacinto said. “Through our enhanced app, our rider-partners will benefit from improved efficiency, enabling them to earn more, while our passengers will enjoy a user-friendly and more intuitive interface, ensuring seamless and convenient motorcycle taxi experiences.” 

Move It is conducting onboarding campaigns to maximize its current supply allocation of 15,000 riders, but Jacinto said they intend to grow its rider-partners with plans to tap the informal habal-habal industry to “professionalize” them.

"We are firmly advocating to professionalize the motorcycle taxi industry, and that extends to the habal-habal riders as well,” he said. “Our vision is to create a safe, professionalized, and empowering environment where all our rider-partners, including habal-habal riders, can thrive.”

This comes on the heels of transport advocacy network The Passenger Forum (TPF) calling on the government’s Technical Working Group (TWG) on Motorcycle Taxis to remove the cap for motorcycle taxis so the said transport sub-sector can better serve commuters.

“We believe it is about time to do away with the limit for motorcycle taxis as it impedes the potential of MC taxis to serve commuters, and provide livelihood for riders,” TPF Convener Primo Morillo said. “The Philippine Competition Commission (itself) recommended the removal of the cap as it will lead to better commuter experience.”

Some senators suggested the removal of the supply cap on motorcycle taxis last week, saying that motorcycle taxi companies only operate at 30 percent of their capacities especially during rush hour. Other countries also do not impose limits for operating motorcycle taxi units.

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“It is no secret that many commuters appreciate and patronize motorcycle taxis especially now that there is an apparent lack of public utility vehicles,” Morillo said. “Even habal-habals proliferate due to the PUV deficit. Commuters know that habals, unlike registered MC taxis, are less safe as their riders do not go through stringent training, and they do not offer accident insurance but sometimes, we have no other choice since we want a ride and they are the ones readily available. The solution to the habal problem is to accommodate them in the government’s MC taxi study.”    

Morillo added that removing the cap will also encourage more players to participate. 

“The removal of limits for operating MC taxis will truly help commuters, riders, and even the government,” he added. “We do not have to wait for the passage of the MC Taxi law to remove the cap as the TWG can do it now.”


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