Before 2018 ended, Grab car users got the shock of their lives when they found out how much money they spent on the ride-sharing app over the past year. Through hub.grab.com, a website built by the transportation network company, users can log in using their Grab-registered phone numbers and view their booking history. It has one caveat—it will only display a maximum of 300 trips.
The price of convenience
Ever since ride-hailing operator Uber Technologies shut down in the Philippines and integrated with its rival Grab, the former has become the go-to option for people who are looking for a convenient ride around the metro. It offers car and sharing options as well as delivery services.
Netizens shared the amount of their Grab expenses, with some amounting to a whopping hundred thousand pesos, and that’s not even the grand total.
But this need for convenience runs deeper than just having a comfy and smooth ride to work or home.
The country’s perennial traffic problem and the lack of long-term, effective solution, and infrastructure are the main causes, and statistics form a grim picture of how motorists and the public suffer from it. At the start of 2018, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) released a study revealing that the Philippines is losing ₱3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila. In fact, the city placed third worst in traffic in Southeast Asia. A 2017 study titled “Unlocking Cities,” done by global firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), showed that people spend an average of 66 minutes stuck in traffic daily, while others spend at least 24 minutes searching for parking. Though, of course, other people can attest that this is only half the picture, especially when more delays are caused by the rainy season.
It could only have gotten only worse, with the usual problems that arise on a daily basis: flooding caused by faulty drainage systems, ineffective regulations, lack of better and cheaper public transportation, and motorists who simply don’t follow rules.
Let’s not even get started on the daily plight of Filipino MRT/LRT and jeepney passengers. Lines snake in and around the train stations, with each person wasting several hours just waiting under the heat of the sun and in the company of irate fellow passengers. Money is not the only issue. Time and effort are wasted every single day. An improvement in the mass transport system is needed, among many other things. Quoting Ben De Vera’s post on Twitter, “Though the bigger picture is this—our transport system here in Mertro Manila sucks, big time.”
Other netizens pointed out that their average P20,000 to P70,000 yearly spending on Grab could have been used for more worthy purchases. It could even count as a downpayment for a new car!
Is it really any wonder why the rest of the population would rather spend extra money to get to their destination safely and with less hassle? Can we blame them for choosing a better option?