GrabTaxi was one of the businesses that were at the 2013 Blogapalooza business to bloggers networking event that I attended with Maila. While some bloggers were probably just getting to know their service, I’ve been a Grabber already for quite some time now.

If you live in the city, then you know this already – i t can be quite a challenge to hail a cab in Metro Manila especially when you’re in a hurry, it’s raining or it’s a Friday night or when it’s all of the above! It can also be a very frustrating and harrowing experience.

Some cab drivers are selective of passengers:

Manong driver: San kayo mam? 
Me: Makati manong.  
Manong driver: Naku traffic dun. (then speeds away, leaving you behind)

Some cab drivers would take you in but he’d have a higher asking fee:
Manong driver: San kayo mam?
Me: Ortigas manong. 
Manong Driver: Traffic dun! 300php okay? (From Makati to Ortigas is only Php150-200 at the most) 

Or worse, cab drivers who turn out to have criminal intents! Scary! Riding a cab is supposed to be convenient and safe. It’s not supposed to make you fear for your safety or stress you out. 
At times, you’d like to ride a cab after a long day of shopping and walking at the mall. Sure there are taxi stands in major malls around the metro nowadays but on weekends and holidays such as Christmas, you’ll have to deal with the long lines with so few cabs in the line up! 
That last scenario is what led me to try the GrabTaxi app. I was with my friend, Mhay one night after work and we met up at Greenbelt to ride a cab together to go to The Fort. There was a long line of passengers at Greenbelt 1, all waiting for cabs that they can ride to bring them to their destinations. Here’s my confession: I am an impatient person. I don’t like waiting long especially when it involves having to deal with long lines. 
That time, I just read about the service that the GrabTaxi app offers on Rappler. Since I had a smartphone with a data plan, I figured I’d give it a try. I downloaded the app, encoded my current location and where I wanted to go then I clicked on Book Now. 
The app then went to work, locating nearby taxis that were part of the GrabTaxi circle and after a few minutes, I got a cab! 
What I like about the GrabTaxi App:
1) It offers convenience of getting a taxi. Now when your cab arrives, at least you don’t have to tell him where you want to go and risk rejection because he already knows the destination he’s supposed to take you to and he accepted!  
2) It lets you track where the taxi is already – how far or near it is from your current location through GPS tracking (if it’s moving or not) and there’s even an estimated time of arrival indicated on the screen. 
3) The app also gives you the following info: taxi plate number, his name which is sometimes accompanied by his photo and a way to contact him. GrabTaxi encourages calling the driver to find out his location when you can’t see it on screen or to ask the driver the name of the cab you should be watching out for since that’s easier to spot than the plate number. 
4) An estimate of the cab fare you will be spending (on top of the Php70php booking fee which I don’t mind at all since the taxi driver does have to purposely go to your location to pick you up)
5) Plus since the cab driver also knows who booked the taxi, other passengers who might attempt to hail your taxi won’t succeed because the driver is going to look for you! (VIP ang peg!
I will never forget my first try of using GrabTaxi because the first cab that Mhay and I successfully booked. The whole time we were waiting for the cab, monitoring the driver’s whereabouts through the GPS Tracking, we were so amazed we kept saying “Wow! Lapit na!” “Wow! Ang galing” and when it finally reached us, the app gave a notice that the taxi driver has finally arrived and we were so thrilled because we got to cut through the long line of people waiting! 
But the most memorable part of that first booking experience was that we had to cancel our booking because as it would turn out someone else had a more pressing need for it. A lady dressed in Rustan’s Supermarket uniform was in a wheelchair and she was about to give birth! I can’t forget how two other guy employees of Rustan’s were assisting together with the guard who got to our taxi first and how my initial thought was “Hey! Wait a minute Manong guard. That is our taxi you’re trying to take!” before we noticed the woman. Naturally, as our cab driver advised, we cancelled our booking to give way to the woman in need.
We were able to get another taxi through the app which successfully took us to our desired destination though I will also never forget the looks of annoyance and confusion of the other people who were waiting in line Their thought bubbles at that time were probably “Jerks! Who do they think they are cutting in line like that?” or “Hey! How did they manage to get that taxi?” We were waiting for a cab like the rest of them near the end of the line that time before I thought of trying GrabTaxi. 
My own thought bubble at that time, “Well peeps, we used GrabTaxi! And you can do that too if you have a smartphone with a data plan on hand!” 
Up to this time, I use GrabTaxi especially when I’m coming from a meeting with my boss that ends at around rush hour where a lot of other people are trying to get home by hailing a cab. I score brownie points with her when I use GrabTaxi to hail us a cab! 
I highly recommend this app. From all the experiences I’ve had using GrabTaxi, I have to say that I have nothing but praises for it. So convenient and safe just as a cab ride should be! 
P.S. Photos grabbed from and GrabTaxi Facebook page.  

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