4 Perks of Mobile e-Hailing a Grab Taxi Cab - BlogPh.net

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4 Perks of Mobile e-Hailing a Grab Taxi Cab

The trend of TNVS or transport network and vehicle services has been all over the news in the last couple of months. They are spreading like wildfire in this hot and dry forest of people hungry for comfort and convenience coupled with savings--a lot of savings.

Taxi passengers in the metro have been sharing their great--and not so great--experiences about the transport service. There are actually about three transport companies in Metro Manila but there is one that stands out because it caters to a bigger chunk of the metro public--GrabTaxi.

Not-so-humble Beginnings of Grab Taxi

GrabTaxi started at Malaysia in 2011, initiated by a couple of Harvard Business School graduates which immediately attracted interest from investors. In 2013, it expanded in the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore; then Vietnam and Indonesia the following year. It really is spreading like wildfire.

In the Philippines, not only is it available in Manila; it’s mobile e-hailing services are now experienced in Cebu, Davao City, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, and very recently launched last July in Baguio City.

How Grab Taxi Works

Well, gone are the days when lines at taxi bays seem endless. Hailing a cab along the road is nearly a thing of the past. But for the newbies, and those who are out of the loop, one simple question comes to mind: How does it work?

Whether you’re carrying an Android, an iOS, a Blackberry 10 device or a Windows phone, hailing a GrabTaxi-affiliated vehicle can easily be at the end of your fingertips. You can simply download the free GrabTaxi app and register. Once that is done, you can choose your current location where you prefer to be picked up and your destination.

Taxi and car options

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll have three kinds of vehicles to choose from: Taxi, Sedan and Premium cars. If you choose to book a taxi, the range of price will appear in the middle of the screen. You’ll be charged Php 70 booking fee plus the amount on the taximeter. Choosing sedan usually costs around the same amount as a taxi ride. Their computation includes a Php 40 base fare plus Php 15 charge for every kilometer and a per minute charge depending on traffic. You’ll usually get picked up by a brand new or fairly new Toyota Vios or a Honda City or even a Mazda 2. Maximum of four passengers can take a sedan. A GrabCar driver--even if he arrives in a Toyota Innova has the right to refuse a group of 5 passengers. They’ll either have to book another GrabCar or simply go all together and ride a Premium or GrabCar Plus.

Premium cars have higher rates because you’ll be booking high-end SUVs like a fresh Mitsubishi Montero Sport, or a Toyota Fortuner, or even like Solenn Heussaff's experience--a bulletproof Hummer. They charge Php 50 higher than the sedan’s base fare rate, increasing it to Php 90, adding Php 20 for every kilometer distance from your pickup to your destination point. There’s also an uncertain amount added based on traffic. GrabCar Plus is usually a hundred pesos higher than sedan’s rates.

Grab Taxi

Perks of Mobile e-Hailing

Surely, there are quite a number of benefits in using the GrabTaxi app and here are the four most common of them:

  1. Safety

Taxi cabs have been a concern for public safety in the last ten years or so. Countless reports of robbery, rape, and even homicide, have been circling the news and social media. Modus Operandis were exposed as passengers have become more vigilant. However, since the birth of TNVS in the Philippines, these reports have gradually reduced with the help of technology and Internet data.

Through GPS or Global Positioning System, the company, the driver and you--the passenger, will be able to track locations of devices. The driver will know almost exactly where you prefer to be picked up. And you will know where the driver is, on his way to pick you up. The app conveniently gives an estimated time of arrival or ETA to your pickup point and then to your destination once you’re in the car. Communication may be required for a faster service but texting is highly recommended rather than calls.

Since your driver knows exactly where you’re going, he doesn’t need to ask you for directions. The driver’s GrabTaxi app is interjected with the Waze app--a traffic-based navigation smartphone app. One tap and every turn to your destination is spoon-fed.

You can also easily share your booking details to a loved one: GPS location, ETA, car’s plate number, driver name with an identifying picture.

  1. Convenience

The weather will no longer stop you from going out and finishing errands, meeting friends or going to church. You can even bring the kids with you and you’ll have an ounce of comfort on the way to your destination. You’ll be able to experience the benefit of making a few preparations on the way like putting on your son’s socks and shoes, wearing your finishing make-up touches or accessorizing through your watch and jewelry.

You no longer have to line up with the long crowd of people in the taxi bay. Standing in that nearly endless throng of tired individuals, suffering in the heat, smog and noise, merely wanting to go home and get some much-needed rest, probably reduces life by a year.

Most, if not all GrabTaxi cabs are brand new. The company only accepts vehicles manufactured and released from 2012 onwards. So you don’t only travel with great air conditioning but also in neatness and style. Drivers are polite, and more service-oriented, making sure that passengers are comfortable.

You can actually rest in the grab vehicle. Some BPO employees share that they have slept in GrabCars on their way to work or back home. GrabTaxi’s GPS monitoring system keeps us at ease. Drivers are flagged, suspended and even banned from the company if they so much as divert from their route. So passengers can make sure that drivers will not try to do anything that could cause them to lose their jobs.

  1. Savings

Instead of buying your own car, e-hail a cab. Instead of filling the tank up of own car to fetch your loved ones, e-hail a cab. Mobile e-hailing has been literally giving passengers savings.

With the outpouring advertisements for Grab and introductory strategies, there have been a gush of promo codes to get free booking fees for taxi, Php 100, Php 200 and even Php 300 discounts for GrabCar and GrabCar Plus rides. Rides are almost free most of the time. Experiencing gallant travels and paying almost nothing is truly a gift.

For GrabCar and GrabCar Plus, fixed fare is reflected before you actually book the ride so you’ll know how much you’ll pay. No matter how long the ride takes, you’ll only have to pay the fixed fare. But of course, tips are welcome.

  1. Quality Assurance

Gone are the days that you’ll have to deal with a rude taxi driver, or one who asks for additional fare, or even one who doesn’t give the right amount of change. GrabTaxi owners want to make sure that they live up to their promises. They want to provide efficient transport service, keeping a close eye on monitoring their drivers through GPS and passenger feedback.

They have proven to take every feedback seriously and investigate every comment whether on social media or their app and customer support hotline. Suggestions are really taken into consideration and they have showed that the passenger is the boss.

Although Grab seems to have become more strict with their drivers, I believe this is their way of protecting their mission. But they also take into consideration their drivers. Passengers cannot just falsely accuse their Grab drivers of a crime. If Grab knows that the driver didn’t commit a violation, they will back him up a hundred and ten percent presenting evidences to the public.

A few disses

Still, there are a few inconveniences. With the continuously growing number of passengers, booking a grab from the comfort of your home (if you live in a residential area and not a business district or mall) could take 30 minutes to even more than an hour. It’s even more difficult when it’s the weekend after salary day.

Technology still has its limitations. If you’re trying to go home but your phone is low on battery, it will be difficult for you to book. You also have to pay for Internet data to use the app on your device. For people who don’t often use the web on their phone, being charged for this could be inconvenient.

GrabTaxi’s rapid and continued growth in Asia is evidence that more and more people want to experience comfort, convenience, and most of all, safety. With the help of technology and constant feedback exchange, there will surely be developments in their app and service.

Ultimately, it has elevated life for people who prefer safety and convenience. This is a service that will stay and spread. And as long as they continue to stay true to their mission to provide better service and savings, they will continue to have passengers who enjoy their service.

For more information on Grab Taxi in the Philippines, visit www.grabtaxi.com/manila-philippines or www.facebook.com/GrabTaxiPH .

Image credit: Grab Taxi Facebook page

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