What do you do when you have to go somewhere and suddenly the car won’t start? Or when it’s coding and you don’t have a spare car. Or when you look out the garage and realize that hubby or wifey drove your car?
You could get mad, scream, shout, and curse the world for your tough luck.
And then what?
You could hire a cab.
Nah, too scary.
You could take the bus.
Nah, too many things to bring.
You could use Uber.
Uber, Everyone’s Private Driver.
In a nutshell, Uber is a smartphone app that easily connects drivers to people who need a ride. Founded in 2009, it has helped ten of thousands of people around the world, not just in finding a ride, but also in earning income as drivers. Just recently, Uber has come to the Philippines, to Metro Manila, to be exact.
I Need a Ride
For one of the reasons stated above, I suddenly needed a ride. Through a friend’s invitation, I signed up with Uber and got free P300 to use. Yey! By the way, you can get your free P300 credits too just by signing up using my invitation! Here’s the link:
I fired up the Uber app on my phone and out came a Google map with a pin to set my pickup location. I couldn’t quite locate the actual location just by looking at the map so I did a search for Petron along that road instead. Once it has that location, it shows you an estimate of how long it would take for Uber to pick you up, in this case 14 minutes. At the bottom of the screen, there are 2 modes to choose from, the uberX and the Black Car. uberX is the basic kind while Black Car has classy written all over it.
- uberX – P40 base fare + P2.00/min + P5.70/km
- Black Car – P120 base fare + P2.10/min + P12.92/km
I was feeling a bit sosy (because I had free P300 credits!) so I chose the Black Car. I tapped on the arrow on the screen and it took me to a confirmation page that has options to calculate fare and add in a promo code. After that, I had to input the location where the driver will take me, to Choi Garden Restaurant in San Juan, where we were supposed to meet up with some friends. It now said that the driver is en route to picking me up and his info is at the bottom of the screen. It said that Driver Edwin will be coming in a Mitsubishi Montero with plate number NC4354.
About 20 minutes later (from the original 25 minutes), our “black car” parked in front of us at Petron. I was literally expecting a black colored car so I was surprised that it was white. The plate number was correct though so we got in.
Driver Edwin was indeed manning the car. The interiors were nice, faux leather seats, cool aircon temperature, no strong car perfume. There was also an iPad Mini installed in front showing the map and navigation.
We chatted with Edwin for a while, asking about Uber in general.
Here are some interesting information that we got:
- He’s fairly new in the company, just one month, while the company itself started just 2 months ago. (Post note: I would later learn that he’s referring to his company Carnavan Transport and not uber)
- The company is operated by Carnavan Transport in P. Ocampo, Manila.
- The drivers have to reach a quota of 6 bookings per day. They get P600 out of it.
- Most of the cars are black Toyota Vios sedans so we were fortunate to have tried a different one.
- They start as early as 5AM and have a cut-off at 1AM.
It wasn’t long before we got to our destination. We pulled up across Choi Garden (to check out Biocare first, a post on that later) and Edwin tapped a few times on his iPad to show us the fare., P191.00. No need to shell out cash by the way, as is it a cashless system. Everything will be charged to your credit card, the one you entered during sign up. You can also even split the bill with another rider though I haven’t tried that yet.
A receipt like this will then be sent to your mail after the trip. It’s P0.00 because of the free P300 credits that I got. Be sure to register with my invitation so you can get your free P300 credits too! 🙂
There we are, happy riders of Uber! 🙂 Will have to try the uberX next time to compare. 🙂
What I Like About Uber
- Convenient. I like knowing that I now have an easy way of getting around if I don’t have a car. It’s also cashless so you don’t have to worry about not having enough cash with you.
- Fast. We didn’t have to wait long before our ride arrived. It came even earlier than the estimated time.
- Safe. It’s a by-request system so you are designated a specific driver and a car and not a random one.
- Clean and nice looking cars.
What I Worry About
- No WiFi. Since I don’t have a data plan, I rely on WiFi to use Uber. What if I wanted to be fetched at a place where I could not find a free WiFi though. Yikes!
- No Car Available. While trying the app, I sometimes get a No uberX Car Available or No Black Car Available in my search location. Just one of them is not available though, not both at the same time. I wonder if I’ll ever get a location with neither cars available. Double yikes! (Post note: I’ve experienced having neither uberX nor black car available. I just had to wait a while before one becomes available.)
Earn Money with Your Car
By the way, you can also be on the other side – be a driver/car owner instead of being a rider. Here are their requirements.