Ever since it hit the Philippine market in 2013, GrabTaxi has risen to be one of the most popular transport apps in the market. To say the least, it made its mark in the urban landscape, making a dent in the way taxi commuting has been done.
That’s not to say that it has problems, something that I myself have experienced whenever I use it. Probably the one complaint I have that many others share is the unavailability of GrabTaxi units in certain times, especially during rush hour. That is something the folks at GrabTaxi acknowledge and are working in addressing this issue. Part of addressing it is related to the recent launch of a new service they offer. The Urban Roamer was fortunate to have been invited to witness the beginning of what I can describe as a riding experience taken to a whole new level.
The event was the launching of GrabTaxi’s new and more “premium” service called “GrabCar.” As the name implies, with GrabCar, you get the convenience and privilege of getting to your destination via a private car rather than a taxi. It’s like having a chauffeur who will take you where you need to go…in style.
The cars to be used for this service are chosen in such a way that you get the stylish vibe, whether it’s a Toyota Camry, Nissan Patrol, Nissan Teana, or even a Mini Cooper. More units and models will be made available soon, all of them less than 5 year-old, at least class D vehicles. (class D by the way means mid-sized vehicles like a sedan)
As part of the GrabTaxi network, availing of a GrabCar service would entail downloading a new app. It is available right at the GrabTaxi app itself where you can choose either service in getting to your destination.
As for the rates, they did not disclose the specifics but they assured it would not as expensive as it would look. In fact, you can get an idea of the rates by doing a little mock booking on your GrabTaxi app and compare before confirming which service to take. One advantage is that GrabCar’s rate is fixed, as long as you stay within the course of your trip.
As a new service, there are things that will need to be sorted out in the coming days, months. GrabTaxi as it is today has still work needed to do to make it better. But as I noted earlier, to their credit, the folks at GrabTaxi acknowledge those things and are committed to improve on them. That and their commitment to a local approach in driving a regional business forward, should be a sign for optimism at least.
For now, the GrabCar service is initially available in Metro Manila, but there is room for future expansion. For more information about GrabTaxi and GrabCar, you can check out their website and as well as the Facebook page of GrabTaxi Philippines.
-I must disclose that I actually got to try out the service myself, thanks to the offer by the event organizers that I could try it for free going to the event venue. The car I got was a Nissan Patrol, my first time in a luxury SUV. While I do not see myself using the service often, the experience is something I would not mind using once in a while.
-The event was hosted by radio-TV personalities Mikey Bustos and Sam Oh, my first time to see them in person. Too bad I did not get to have a photo taken with them.
-Alex Calleja entertained the guests with his brand of stand-up comedy which I believe Filipinos should be exposed to more (not that I hate the comedy bar-type crass humor usually found here, but comedy is more to it than that and people are missing out on it)
Again, I would like to express my thanks to GrabTaxi and the folks behind this event for the invite.