Christmas is just around the corner, and along with Santa's season come the parties and the paranoia induced by the rising incidence of theft. Thanks to today's connected world, you don't have to worry about driving after going to a party teeming with alcoholic drinks. Bright minds are using mobile technology for safer mobility.
A safe ride home at an ungodly hour--either from a party or after a long day at the office--is within reach. In fact, it's available right at your fingertips (with a mobile phone, of course). Say hello to GrabTaxi, a free smartphone app that enables you to hail a cab using your mobile gadget. This eliminates the need to point fingers at who's bringing a car and dropping everybody home after a drinking session.
Keeping up with your mobile device's capabilities, the app is smart enough to locate you and give you an estimated metered fare once you've indicated your destination. The company has a dozen partner fleets and has pre-screened its affiliate drivers. Thus, you are ensured that a taxi driver arrives at your doorstep when you book one and that the driver will not rob you of your Christmas bonus. A booking fee of P70 is charged in addition to the metered fare. Currently, Globe and TM subscribers get a discount on the booking fee and are charged only P50.
GrabTaxi is available for Android, Windows and iOS operating systems. Sorry, BlackBerry users. "The app is designed to connect passengers and taxi drivers," said GrabTaxi director Brian Cu at the 2013 Mobile Festival.
During his 20-minute presentation, Cu enumerated the social mission of the taxi-booking service. GrabTaxi may seem like just another app that makes life easier in this digital age, but it somehow aims to eliminate the number of drunk drivers on the road. The app also helps provide safer taxi rides for women and makes sure passengers pay a regulated fare--and not a premium price when cabs are scarce.
In addition, it's not only the passengers who are benefiting from the service. "Our affiliate drivers have reported a 15% to 60% increase in income since they started using GrabTaxi," Cu said. "Our taxi drivers spend less time going around and wasting fuel to look for passengers." Everybody's happy, in other words.
So, in case you go partying next month, leave your car at home and let GrabTaxi hire a cab for you. It's an easy-to-use app: Once you open the GrabTaxi app and allow it to access your location, it detects where you can be picked up, and indicate the number of GrabTaxi-affiliated drivers near you. Indicate your destination and the type of ride you want (budget or executive). You then get an estimate of the fare. Click "Book Now" to get a cab.
Pretty easy, right?