Tricycles, as a form of public transportation, aren’t exactly vehicles that convey a ‘premium’ vibe. More often than not, they're bare-boned, rickety three-wheelers that serve one single purpose: to allow commuters to travel short distances on a budget.
Do they get the job done? Yes. Are they cheap? Yes. But premium? We don’t think so. This is the mindset that ride-hailing giant Grab is looking to change with a little help from AutoItalia Philippines, the exclusive local distributor of Piaggio Apé vehicles in the country.
Grab’s GrabTrike Premium service will now utilize Piaggio Apé City Fi units in an exclusive agreement. Not familiar? The model, which costs P185,000 a unit, is a three-wheeled light commercial vehicle based on the Vespa scooter. It has a maximum load capacity of 300kg, and can be powered by Euro 4-compliant gasoline or diesel engines. The most impressive bit? The company claims it can get between 24km to 28km on a single liter of fuel. Talk about efficient.
The partnership with AutoItalia Philippines comes in a bid by Grab to contribute to the country’s transport modernization.
“We believe that this is a timely service that provides a lot of benefits to the riding public,” said AutoItalia general manager Miguelito Jose. “It’s more economical than booking a car—particularly for short trips. For driver-partners, the low acquisition cost has been made even more affordable through our special financing plans.”
“Transport modernization has always been in Grab’s core. Our goal is to provide a full spectrum of transportation solutions with localized and modernized services for everyday needs, no matter what vehicle [the passengers] prefer or how short their journey is,” shared Brian Cu, country head of Grab Philippines. “Through our combined efforts with AutoItalia Philippines, we hope to work with LGUs to improve short-distance commute in more cities in the Philippines while improving driver welfare and passenger experience.”
The first local government to utilize GrabTrike Premium will be the Municipality of Binalonan. Expect more to follow. So, what do you think of this new ‘premium’ tricycle service?