MANILA – Just in time for the holidays, the country’s first bike and e-scooter sharing service will be available in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.
The app is called Moovr and is developed by the same people who are behind the storage service Keepr.
It’s available for both Android and iOS devices and has a scheduled launch date on December 18, Friday.
Anna Moncupa, founder and CEO of Moovr and Keepr, said that while both apps were different, they were driven by their “fundamental desire to introduce convenient, inclusive, customer-centric and modern solutions to everyday problems”.
“With Keepr we want to solve space problems in your homes, and now with Moovr we want to solve space problems outside of our homes. Our streets are getting congested and traveling takes longer. So we wanted to offer a safe and a convenient way to get around town move, “she said in a recent virtual briefing with the media.
“This concept isn’t entirely new, I’m sure most of you have seen it on your overseas travels, but the challenge was to make sure it was perfect for the general Philippines commuter public. We really had to locate all this service, “she added.
According to Moncupa, they decided to choose BGC as their first location “because they already have the infrastructure” and they hope to be able to expand to other areas in the future.
For his part, Jay Teodoro, Chief Operations Officer of Fort Bonifacio Development Corp., welcomed Moovr’s alternative mode of transportation.
“Because of the pandemic, we need a safer mode of transport than jeepneys and buses. We believe that cycling will also promote a more sustainable mode of transport in BGC, but we also understand that not everyone can bring their bikes,” he said.
At the start a total of 200 bicycles and 20 e-scooters will be made available, which will be distributed to the “hubs” in BGC.
These include Bonifacio Stopover, Burgos Circle, Crescent South, Bonifacio High Street (BHS) Central, BHS Ost 1, BHS Ost 2, BHS Ost 3, BHS Ost 4, Fully booked, Fort Strip, CCI, MC Home Depot, MM 1, and MM 2.
The prices for the use of bicycles start at P60 per hour (calculated as P15 for every 15 minutes or a fraction thereof) and P150 per hour for e-scooters (calculated as P50 for every 20 minutes or a fraction thereof).
All transactions are carried out within the app – from renting a ride to unlocking it at the hub to returning it – without the need for human interaction.
“All you really have to do is download and subscribe to the app. All you need is a phone number and a smartphone. Then you open the app and you can immediately see the devices available,” said Moncupa.
“So you go to any device, unlock it, scan the QR code and you’re good to go.”
Aside from credit and debit cards, GCash payments are also accepted by Moovr. Moncupa says it is part of their effort to be as “inclusive” as possible.
When asked how they can reduce their rates, she replied, “The business model is for us to tap into these companies that are willing to support such an environmentally friendly initiative. That’s why we sell advertising space on the bikes to support our overhead, and in return, we can pass lower costs on to our users. “
Only bicycles and e-scooters are shared by Moovr, which encourages all drivers to wear their own helmets when using the service.
Teodoro of Fort Bonifacio said helmets are not needed in BGC but they are highly recommended.
He added that BGC’s existing guidelines for bicycles and e-scooters apply to Moovr, especially when it comes to lane use.
“There are some lanes where they are shared with the buses, so you have to keep a minimum distance of 10 meters from the buses. And you are only allowed to overtake at the bus stops,” he said.
“They are not allowed on the sidewalks, so they have to use the pavement. Although we have provided bollards to keep the bikers safe,” he added.
For its part, Moncupa announced that Moovr has insurance under its agreement with BGC that covers up to third party liabilities.
With regard to how they ensure the security of the devices from theft and breakage, she mentioned mechanisms such as alarms and a ticketing system in the app that they can easily monitor and track.
“The scooters themselves don’t move outside of the service area. So you drive them outside of BGC and it just throttles until you just can’t turn them on anymore. And they make quite a fuss out of the service area too, they do have alarms. It is usually very loud, “explained Moncupa.
“That and of course we have our GPS. So everything is transparent, we see everything. Every time it is used, it is rented or even if it is only reserved we see everything in our system,” she added.