What We Know So Far About the Proposed Ride-Hailing App Tara
Commuters who are looking for viable transport alternatives have seemingly found their "Uber"—that is, a cheaper alternative to Grab. Meet Tara, a proposed ride-hailing app pitched by a Facebook user which, according to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), has yet to be accredited with the agency.
Tara, the brainchild of Facebook user Erwin Dee, is a "crazy idea" that stemmed from his imagination when he was looking to fill the gap in the ride-hailing industry, he said in his viral September 11 Facebook post with more than 25,000 shares. The good thing about the app, he said, is it would offer cheaper fares and impose zero commission from its drivers.
"I'm proud to share that Tara's booking fare is cheaper. And by cheaper, I mean 'yung standard. It is in accordance with LTFRB's fare matrix. Strictly no surcharges. Users can save up to P300 especially sa long distance booking and during rush hour," claimed Dee, who introduced himself as a Multimedia Art graduate from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
"We are confident that Tara is the beacon of change that ride-hailing industry has been waiting for, setting new standards of excellence and convenience for all."
What we know so far about Tara
Tara is touted as a "cost-effective Grab alternative" for Metro Manila commuters who are looking for cheaper alternatives to the likes of ride-hailing Grab. It will be available on the App Store and Google Playstore "soon," he said.
It will base its fares from the LTFRB matrix, with a P45 fare base for a four-seater car and a P15 per kilometer and P2 per minute. For six-seaters, it's P55 fare base with P18 per kilomer with P2 per minute fare.
Instead of being commission-based, it will offer a "pay-per-usage" subscription-based model as a revene source so users have an option to contribute to the service. So if a passenger pays the basic P30 subscription, it will earn them three tokens or access to three bookings or P10 per booking. Pay the regular subscription of P300 and it will earn the subscriber 30 tokens for 30 bookings. If the passenger wants the "partner" subscription, that's P3,000 for 300 completed bookings.
To protect its passengers, it will employ an invite-only system for its users and drivers. Drivers can also filter bookings according to their preference.
The project is a result of nine months of research and development, Dee said. So far, he said he had no capital to hire a team for his "project" but said that he has the programming background and resources for it.
"Moreover, hiring a team would defeat the purpose of lowering the fare, since I would have to pay for the team to maintain the code. Despite the circumstances, I persevered. I started and finished this project in earnest by myself."
The app is "already done" and will soon undergo beta testing, he said in his latest update on Facebook.
Dee declined SPOT.ph's request for an interview.
The LTFRB on Tara app
Sought for a comment, the LTFRB told SPOT.ph on September 12 that so far, Tara app has yet to register for its accreditation.
"Walang accreditation po ang Tara. If they will operate, we will impound their motor vehicles," LTFRB Chief Jojo Guadiz told SPOT.ph.
"The penalty is about P50,000 for each unit. And they will be barred from any accreditation," he said.