A month back, I have read in Rappler about this new mobile app that you could use to get a taxi. I immediately got interested because it is quite hard to get a cab specially in the Makati area on a friday night. And since my Vietnam trip was scheduled on a Friday and a payday Friday at that, I thought I should download the app just in case.
I was actually planning to use it before the flight just so I know how it works but I’ve never gone around to using it. Come the day of my flight, true enough, there was a line of people trying to hail a cab along Paseo de Roxas. So I whipped out my phone and started the Grab Taxi App. It’s logo is a white outline of a cab inside a green outline.
Upon opening the app, you would be reminded that you would have to pay a fixed fee of Php 70.00 on top of the metered fare. Fair enough if you’d ask me. I wouldn’t mind paying this amount as long as I get to find a cab on a busy friday night.
As with most apps, this one needs data connection. That’s no problem on my part since I’ve got unlimited data subscription. Next thing is that you should turn on your GPS. The app would need to know your location because it will then send out that information to all the taxis which have the Grab Taxi app.
Once you put in your location and your destination, you would have the option choose whether you would want a regular cab or a deluxe cab. You can also put in a note to the driver. Just like what I did. I said I’d be waiting along Paseo de Roxas in front of a particular building. Once you click ‘Book Now”, the app will be sending your information (location and drop off point) to all the cabs within a certain radius. I wasn’t able to get a screenshot of that one and I cannot do it now cause my phone connection sucks. Basically what you would see is a cluster of taxi and each one would light up red or green. At first try, the message I got from the app is that they were not able to find me a cab. I tried again and the app was able to get me a cab. 🙂
What’s gets cooler with the app is once they find you a cab, they will also send you the cab plate number, the mobile number where you can call (not text. not recommended) your driver and even a picture of your driver! You can also track the whereabouts of your ride. See here:
If you click on the ‘Call Driver” icon on the lower left side of the app, you will be able to do a video call with your driver. 🙂 You can also opt to cancel the booking. Just don’t know how that works though.
True enough after less than 5 minutes, Mr. Driver arrived and off we went to the airport. He was very courteous and is apparently new to using the app. They pay Php 50 per day for the use of the app plus the mobile unit where it is installed. I think it is like a rent to own kind of thing for the unit. He says it helps them cause the operator gets to know the whereabouts of his taxi and there are now several users that they get good pickings of their passengers.
The only downside I find on the app is that it does not recognize all location. I also used this app when I arrived from the airport and I was indicating our street. It couldn’t find the street as my drop off point. So I had to settle in indicating that the drop off point is the hospital near our street and just told the driver my exact destination when I got to talk to him. By the way, the one who fetched me at the airport is again nice and courteous. I guess it helps if you have his picture and other details with you. 🙂
For this app, it’s 4.5 out of 5. 🙂