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A smooth ride with Uber and Grab

opinion / Latest Opinion
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A smooth ride with Uber and Grab

/ 05:06 AM August 12, 2017

Commuting is part and parcel of ordinary workers’ daily grind. I belong to those thousands of workers who travel to and from work via our public transport system.

Every work day is an agony especially when one has to go through commuting, which I term “buwis buhay” and always a survival of the fittest to and from work.

It’s a relief that there are Uber and Grab cars, a better alternative, if not the best, to go when I have to pamper myself from a hellish ride via the regular public transport.

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My teenage daughters introduced me to this modern day convenient ride experience. And if I were to rate all the rides I had with these transport network companies, I would readily give the rating of 10 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 as the highest. Compared to regular taxi cabs? Never mind is the easy answer. Both are on the extremes—best and worst.

You cannot blame me and the rest of the riding public who are fed up with many arrogant and ill-mannered drivers who pick commuters on the road at their convenience and personal gains. Many times I have been turned down when my destination is not the preferred way of many good-for-nothing drivers. But with Uber and Grab, all passengers are happily picked up, whenever and wherever.

In my recent taxi ride from Terminal 4 last July 28, the assistance desk of the Department of Transportation did not deter the cab driver from taking advantage of me. The slip of paper bearing the plate number and other contact details (in case of complaints) handed out to me by the personnel manning the Help Desk booth at the airport did not bother the driver a bit. As soon as I hopped into an old model taxicab in queue, the young unscrupulous driver automatically demanded if I could add more to the taximeter. He likewise asked me for directions to my place. Just imagine if I were a newcomer to the city. As regards his demand for additional fare, I chided him to bring me first to my destination before asking for add-on fare. Being tired from the day’s delayed trip from Tacloban, I opted not to argue anymore. How could I, with three bags in tow by my lonesome? And how much did it cost me from Terminal 4 to Quezon City? I was sucked with my hard-earned P400, which was P100 more than what was on the meter. Aside from that, I couldn’t fully relax on my way home for fear of being brought somewhere else. This shocking experience is uncommon with Uber or Grab cars. The latter offers me, in all circumstances, courteous drivers/owners in almost all brand-new vehicles. Can you blame me if I prefer Uber and Grab over regular taxicabs?

With these, I am totally opposed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s silly and indecisive decision to hamper Grab and Uber from their operations. The riding public is at the losing end with such an illogical move to clamp down hard on said service while turning a blind eye to the poor commuters’ plight.

A challenge remains to LTFRB officials to simply give the riding public a better option. For now, Grab and Uber remain the preferred choice. Nonnegotiable.

BELEN DOCENA-ASUELO, bdasuelo@yahoo.com

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