‘Transeek’: A Grab-like app for trikes coming for Butuan

From a startup to Butuan’s first tricycle hailing mobile app!

Commuters in the city proper have same sentiments: difficulty in getting tricycle ride, especially during late hours, rude drivers, and overpriced rides. A team of an Information Systems (IS) student and Information Technology (IT) instructors from Caraga State University in Butuan City thought of a way to remedy the situation – a mobile application called “Transeek”, short for transportation seek.

Transeek app hopes to provide safer and convenient commute around Butuan City and increase income for tricycle drivers. With a single tap of the user, he/she can book a ride to his/her destination and Transeek will look for the nearest available tricycle. The app makes use of the internet and smartphones’ Global Positioning System (GPS). Transeek app will be available for Android smartphone users this year.

Its developers, the IS student and team leader Angelito Cagulada, Jr., and IT instructors, Ernest Jay Cubillas and Lemar Arnego, started Transeek last year as a startup idea while enrolled in Navigatú – a Technology Business Incubation (TBI) hub funded by Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD). Navigatú, taken from the word ‘navigation’ and inspired by Butuan’s Balangay Boats, offers idea incubation program and business skills course for startups in the region.

The hub guided Transeek team in developing the app and its business strategy. Just recently, the project allocated Php 2,000,000.00 from investor for funds during its full operation. “We are now on the second round of deliberation with investors and partners, and hopefully we can operate by April or March,” told Cagulada during an interview.

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CSU BSIS student Angelito Cagulada, Jr. (left) with teammate and IT instructor Ernest Jay Cubillas (right) showing the Transeek mobile app in an Android smartphone

Transeek in uplifting lives

Based on a feasibility study on the system among 100 tricycle drivers in Butuan City, the team found out that the average income of tricycle drivers ranges from 400 to 500 pesos per day. With the help of Transeek, tricycle drivers can increase their income to up to more than 300%.

Transeek base fare for a maximum of 3 passengers per ride will be Php30.00, with a service charge of 5 pesos. Drivers will get Php25.00 for every ride from the system. Transeek hopes to decrease delays and standby hours of tricycle drivers in the city.

“We have interviewed drivers during ‘toda’ meetings and most of them liked Transeek since they don’t have to waste time roaming around to look for passengers,” said Cubillas.

Drivers’ registration to the system will be free. They will be required to comply for insurance which most of tricycle drivers in the city fail to adhere to.

Behind ‘Transeek’: Navigatú on board

“Because of Navigatú, we were exposed to ideation, pitching and marketing activities we never had in classrooms. It helped improve my potentials for business,” said Cagulada.

Transeek team is among the first batch of “incubatees” together with 6 more teams developing local IT solutions for agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Facility such as computer units and administrative functions are provided for free in Navigatú enabling them to develop their startup ideas.

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Navigatú incubatees working on their startup projects at their headquarters

“Before, we just make IT systems because we like it. Now, it’s more on solving problems or helping improve lives,” told Cubillas of Transeek team.

Engr. Jeffrey Dellosa, Navigatú Project Leader and CSU’s Innovation and Technology Support Office (ITSO) manager said that they try to provide an ecosystem in the university that enables students and anyone to transform their ideas into businesses. They give a venue for startups to acquire an entrepreneurial skills and mindset while generating solutions to existing societal problems.

Mr. El Psalms David Franco, TBI Manager added that they want the incubatees to realize the value of their skills, sustain their business up to more than 5 years and create more job opportunities. Navigatú also conducts workshops on business and ICT for schools in the region.

Learn more about the application and the team’s activities at https://www.facebook.com/transeek/.

Also, like and follow Navigatú’s page at https://www.facebook.com/navigatu/.

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DOST-Caraga Regional Director with other officials during Navigatú’s inauguration, October 30, 2018