I'm sure you've heard about Uber. It's basically a ridesharing mobile app connecting you (as a rider) to the nearest driver around.
To be honest, I'm not used to commuting. I commute, yes, but I'm not used to it. And just by saying that, you could probably guess that when I say commute, I mean getting from one place to another via cab. I occasionally rode a bus before (most of the time with someone because I am not that confident to ride a bus alone) and I still ride a tricycle at times as a last resort when I have to go to the condo which is 5 minutes away from my parents' house. If I don't have a car for a particular day, I always hail a cab or look for another way to be able to get a car. But you know how Manila is. We have the worst drivers and our public transportation sucks to the core. It's smelly, slow, and prone to a hold-up experience. Most taxi drivers require you to add a certain amount of money on top of the meter or they won't take you to your destination. They drive recklessly and you'll be glad to get out in one piece.
Then, Uber was launched in Manila last year (?). I suddenly didn't mind not having a car on certain days.
I am so thankful when Uber launched in Manila because I no longer needed to wake up extra early and leave the house by 6am to reach the office before 7am (on the day that my car is coding). The burden of waiting until 7pm before I can leave Makati is a disaster because it's still traffic and driving could be tiring. There even came a point when I stopped bringing a car to work and used Uber to get to work and come home from work.
I had training yesterday and even though I could bring my car, I opted to use Uber instead. Parking is such a hassle in Salcedo Village and I don't want to wake up extra early to be able to park. Just a few clicks and my Uber is outside the tower waiting for me!
It rained yesterday when I was about to go home from training. If I tried to hail a cab, there was a slim chance of getting one because they will refuse me. Either that or they would have asked for a flat rate or an additional PhP100 at the very least because it was raining.
So, of course, I got an Uber instead. It picked me up at Pacific Star building in less than 10 minutes and didn't refuse to bring me home and my officemate. Instead, the UberX driver just asked us to pin the location where he would be dropping us off so he could "waze" it. How nice! The car that picked us up yesterday was a Toyota Vios. There are two kinds of Uber car: Black Car for the nicer and bigger cars (SUVs) like Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Montero, or Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Camry, etc. UberX is for the compact cars like Toyota Vios, Honda Civic, Ford Fiesta, etc. They're just like any other normal private cars. No fancy writings or anything.
I'm a bit shocked that there are still a lot of people who do not use Uber and still prefer to wait in line for a cab and tolerate rude drivers. Okay, I'm generalising. Not all taxi drivers are rude but from my experience as a commuter, 90% of the taxi drivers I've encountered were rude.
This is how Uber looks like when you open the app. Pin your location then press 'set pickup location'. It's very convenient that the waiting time is indicated. On my screenshot below, it shows that the Uber car nearest to me is 5 minutes away. Of course, this varies when your Uber car gets stuck in traffic or something. The lightning you see above the Uber Cars is an indication that their rates have surge. The surge varies start from a multiplier of 1.2. The highest surge I've seen was x4.0! There's a surge when a lot of people are getting an Uber. There's always a surge during rush hour. In the morning and at 5:30pm. You can also type the place where you're headed to so you an get an estimate of how much it would cost you for the trip.
The screenshot below is my receipt of yesterday's trip. We left Makati at 5:30pm and surge was at x2.4. For me, I'd rather pay surge than endure a long line for a cab. I'm paying for convenience and cleanliness of the car I'm riding, too. If you can see on the receipt, there's a 'fare spilt'. My officemate and I decided to slip the fare which cost us PhP186 (per person). If we took cabs separately, it would cost us more or less the same price getting home. The major difference was we were able to leave Makati right away because we didn't have to waste time hailing for a cab and "begging" to bring us home.
With Uber, there's no need to pay your Uber driver in cash. No need to worry if you don't have change or if the driver will give you the exact change. You pay the real amount for your trip and it's automatically charged to your credit card. If you don't have a credit card yet, you can an e-Prepaid credit card. It's like a debit card but the card number is recognised as a credit card because of the first 4 digits of the card. You can ask your bank if they have an e-prepaid credit card. My bank has this product! *wink wink*
Just in case you haven't downloaded this on your phone yet, please do so now and sign up at Uber. You never know when you'll need an Uber. You can also use my code uberGem so you can get PhP100 off on your first ride! Good luck and enjoy your Uber trip!
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