Getting a taxi ride is sometimes a nightmare depending on your location and the traffic condition plays an important role whether you will arrive on time or late in your appointment.
If you are living or travelling in any big cities in South East Asia like Singapore, Bangkok, Saigon or Manila the traffic situation varies and the transportation services can be either pleasant or problematic. There are bad experiences written all over the internet like overcharging , cabbies merry-go-round just to gain that extra mileage, cabbie’s hostility and poor vehicle condition to name a few.
With the launch of GRAB and UBER Apps it gives some kind of relief to our daily commute. These Apps are free to download in your smartphone both available in Android and iPhone.
Setting up an account is very simple and easy, if you are an existing Facebook user you can login using your FB credentials and will prompt you immediately to their booking main screen. If you’re planning to use it frequently it is advisable to create an account so you can keep a travel history. An existing mobile phone number or personal email account is needed so you can get a copy of receipt online. These Apps can be use in several countries where it is presently available.
How to Book a Taxi
Once login the Global Positioning System (GPS) functionality of both Apps will pinpoint your exact location and will automatically populates your pick-up address. Once you have ascertained your pick-up point enter the Drop-Off point or your destination, then click the book button.
This will give yourself and the driver the best suggested route, it will show as well the average fare and travel time to reach you’re destination based on the normal traffic scenario. Once the booking is confirmed the driver photo, vehicle details as well as the registration number will appear on the screen, the time and distance before it arrived your location. Both GRAB and UBER have identical user interface. Both Apps will contact the nearest available GRAB and UBER driver member in your area.
Having a GPS guide will give some level of comfort to passenger if you’re unfamiliar within the area. Another upside is to possibly avoid conflict with the driver in case they made some detour without apparent reason, you can always monitor your trip in your smartphone.
All cabbies accredited with GRAB and UBER normally received a traffic warning messages from their traffic control center if there’s any accident along the way it will appear on their screen so they can avoid it, these are the most probable reason for few detour, it gives you an idea if the cabbie is trying to overcharged so you or not.
Paying the Fares
There are several mode of payment available but Visa or Mastercard is commonly use. However, Cash is also acceptable if you don’t have a Credit Card or concern about giving away your card security or privacy, just make sure you bring with you some loose change as some drivers might have limited change fund.
Notes to Driver
Both GRAB and UBER apps have a note’s section wherein you can enter specific information or request. Some notes can be specific to your location or landmark in order to locate and identify the passenger quickly. Other notes can be a request for several drop-off or multiple pick-up of passenger in case you’re planning to share the ride with your friends or family. This is acceptable and to be clear with the trip requirements. It’s all about courtesy as well.
Car Model and Category
Both GRAB and UBER Apps offer choices when it comes to the type of vehicle you need to hire. The fare will be calculated not just based on the distance but also the size of vehicle so it’s important to choose it correctly to avoid inconvenience. If you’re expecting to travel with a group make sure you chose the appropriate seating capacity. If you want to travel in style a Limo Taxi or Premium car is available at a premium price.
Fare War GRAB vs UBER
The average fare using GRAB Apps to hire a taxi is based on the flag-down rate regulated by taxi operator as well as the local government. It also includes the toll fees, pick-up surcharge for peak or off-peak hours, vehicle type, succeeding kilometer reading and fees for possible multiple pick-up shared with other passenger.
Different taxi operators have different flag-down rate. The Apps cannot give a suggestions which is cheaper on the time you use GRAB Apps. It all depends on taxi availability at the time of booking.
The GRAB Apps is a very good tool to help you pre-book a cab at a given time at the convenience of your home or office without going on a taxi queue.GRAB doesn’t own fleet of taxi’s but taxi operators leverage this Apps to connect with passenger only.
As for UBER unlike GRAB that deals with both private car and taxi operators, UBER is dealing mostly with private vehicles who wishes to earn extra money by using their own car. The fare is way cheaper than the standard taxi rate at least 40% lower. Rates varies from city to city and you can always get an estimate of the fare ahead of your trip. Based on my travel experience using UBER in Singapore with similar distance, standard vehicle category and traffic situation I normally pay less with UBER.
In the event of unavailability for UBER accredited vehicle in your location, there will be a Surge Pricing. Both GRAB and UBER Apps will connect to their closest members within your area. However, due to several reasons they maybe outside your service ranged UBER Apps will expand their signal coverage to meet your request. This is very helpful if you’re in a rush to get a ride.
Once you reached destination both Apps will prompt a rating system to indicate your overall experience with the ride. A feedback section is available to fill-up.
This is taken seriously by both Apps since it can be their basis to improve their customer service and make your future trip as pleasant as possible.