MANILA, Philippines – Cabs are never there when you need them most; whether it’s one of those days where it’s raining really hard, you need to be somewhere but you’re running late, or stuck in an unfamiliar and unfriendly location late at night.
If you live in Metro Manila, there’s a new smartphone-app based service that can help. The service called GrabTaxi aims to help roving taxi drivers find passengers and vice versa.
What is it?
Users can download the GrabTaxi app, available on both iOS and Android. The app will allow you to book a cab from anywhere in Metro Manila. The service is not run by a taxi company, but is instead connected to a network of taxi fleets.
How does it work?
When you first launch the app you will need to register an account, you will need to provide your mobile number. Once you’re registered, you’re good to go!
Need a cab? Open your app, input your current location and your drop-off point. If the driver needs more instructions, add these to “Notes to driver.”
The app will give you an estimate cab fare, and the number of available taxis nearby. Once you’re good to go, click on “book now” to finalize your booking. The service will send an alert to taxi drivers in the area (yes they have Android phones set up in their respective cabs), whoever is nearest to you will be assigned to you. [Editor’s note: We earlier said that the cab driver who confirms first will be assigned. We regret the error.]
The app will then provide you with the driver’s name, number and location as well as the cab’s plate number and estimated time of arrival. You can track your cab on the app or use it to call the driver.
The app also keeps track of your previous bookings complete with the dates and locations.
This service however comes at a cost. On top of the flag down rate and actual metered cost of your trip, every transaction incurs a service fee of 70Php. It’s quite a price to pay, but considering the fact that in the situations mentioned above taxi drivers ask for as much as double the fare, it’s worth it. -Rappler.com