Traveling to the Philippines I frequently hail cabs and/or use public transit to go from one place to another. I have yet to grow accustomed to the way people drive. It requires a different kind of Zen to sit behind a car and flow with the traffic. I probably need more time to become used to the traffic, pedestrians, right of way etc. As such I frequently use taxis to get me from one point to another. No need to worry about parking, just hail a taxi, the driver takes you to your destination, you pay the driver and then your off to do your business.
I have heard of a lot of frightening urban legends and stories about taxi’s which I am fortunate to not have experienced – am thankful. The only complaint I have is the proverbial unkempt taxis. Unmaintained, dirty seats, smells akin to an old and over used car who has seen better days. Taxis in any nation are just maintained to a minimum standard as long as they can take you from point A to point B you milk as much money as you can from the Taxi and put as little in its maintenance and upkeep.
Another concern I always have is the situation where you might lose your luggage. So in my mind, riding a taxi is like me playing Russian roulette. I know this is a rarity, especially in the Philippines but I can’t help that part of my mind saying your going to lose your luggage or the driver is going to forget you and run off with your meager possessions.
Enter Uber, Uber is a hybrid taxi service – it’s like saying the internet and the taxi mated to create this delightful offspring. Just imagine from your phone you can call these Uber guys through their smartphone app. It’s the same as hailing a cab except that the Uber app shows you a picture of the driver, where he is at and how many minutes he will get to you. All this is shown real time through the App’s map. Another plus is once you use their service the driver picks you up, at that point the Uber app can send a text message of a web page showing your trip on a map real-time – to a friend. Note that the payment is subtracted from your credit card once the driver drops you off to your destination. You are not required to pay the driver, all payments are made via Uber – but it’s a nice touch to leave a tip. The drivers are well dressed and well mannered professionals. The cars are great and well maintained. I had the luck of having brand new vehicles picked me up and dropped me off.Also note, there are 2 kinds of Uber Cars you can hire one is the regular Uber which is a smaller car and the other is Uber X a bigger SUV.
Here are some pictures:
I have tried this service in Makati and Quezon City – am very pleased. I am hoping to use them more extensively on my next trip to the Philippines.
This Uber is one great experience and I highly recommend it – Uber Philippines Rocks !!! Btw, Thanks Neil !!!