If you live in Manila, you know that traffic can be (and often is) horrible. In my office area, traffic outside of rush hour is medium to heavy. When you are a commuter, this means a lot of time (almost an hour, sometimes more) packed in a jeep like sardines in a can. If you drive, this means more gas spent and frustration often as you can actually SEE your office from where you have been inching along for the last 30-45 minutes.
There is an alternative. Uber it. Think cab but better. A well maintained car to get you to your destination safely at a fair price, that’s what Uber is.
For thos who are not familiar with the service, #uber allows you to hire a car for set prices using an app. This is not a new service. They have been around for 5 years. Here’s how they describe their service:
Your ride, on demand
Whether you’re headed to work, the airport, or out on the town, Uber connects you with a reliable ride in minutes. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And you can pay with either cash or card.
Prices vary based on distance but compared to taking a cab in Manila, you are not subject to an ever increasing fare as the cab is stuck in traffic. Nor do you have to bargain for the fare as some drivers insist. What you see on your screen as the price when you hired the car is the price you pay at the end of the trip. Be prepared for the price though. It can be higher than what you expect, especially during a price surge.
You can choose between uberblack and uberx. They also have uberhop which is similar to taking an FX or UVExpress.
If you are used to cabs, not rushing, want the comfort you’d get from having a car to ride and don’t mind sharing the vehicle with a stranger, #uberpool is a good alternative. This means your fare is lower (sometimes as low as half that of getting a car to yourself) since the cost is partially split between you and the other passenger. Make sure though that you allocate a LOT of time since the #uberpool car may make multiple stops and take a circular route (due to having to pick up and drop off other passengers). I find, it’s the same amount of time I allocate to travel by jeep but WAY more comfortable.
It’s an easy to use alternative that is really convenient. You can pay by cash or card. You can even hire a car for someone else to use (great for when you want to give your parents a ride but you can’t take them to their destination because of work or some such) and they won’t have to pay (since you can charge it to your card). It’s also a lot safer than cabs since they have the name and plate number of every single driver on record. Your family and friends can also track where you are during the trip if you send them your status from the app.
Ready to take your first ride? Sign up and enter the code gina52ue and get your first ride free! Enjoy!
For more information about uber, visit their website.