Text: Deneb R. Batucan of SunStar Weekend
TWO of the most downloaded ridesharing mobile apps have become a popular commodity among Cebuano commuters. Since its introduction, Grab (formerly known as GrabTaxi) in 2013 and Uber in 2015, and the advent of more accessible and affordable mobile data and smartphones, the increase of the demand for these ridesharing apps has skyrocketed. And it’s no surprise as users find it convenient, safe and promises a pleasant ride to and from one’s destination.
But for the expediency of the everyday Cebuano commuter, what exactly is the difference between the two ridesharing apps? SunStar Weekend juxtaposes Grab and Uber to see how each app differs from one another, as well as what they share in common.
In Cebu, Uber only has the uberX option, which is the low-cost Uber ride. These private cars (mostly sedans) can seat one to four people and are at an affordable rate.
Riders can also choose to pay in cash or through credit card. The fare will be the price presented before the trip. But if the journey changes, like if there will be pickups not along the way, the fare will be based on a base fare of P30, plus P2.40 per minute and P6.50 per kilometer.
Uber can actually memorize your frequent locations and the shortcuts will be shown at the bottom of the screen as you are about to enter your location and destination. You also input destinations at Saved Places, like your Home or Work.
You can sync your phone’s calendar to the app. There will be a shortcut at the bottom of the screen for your next event’s location when you open the Uber app so it’s even a lot easier to just tap and go and stay at your schedule.
Uber also has promo codes for discounts and free rides. Simply go to the app’s sidebar and tap on Payment, then tap on Add Promo/Gift Code and type in the code there. You don’t need to type it in every time you book a ride. It will instantly be used when it’s encoded and until it’s already used up.
Both of these mobile apps gear towards the safety and top service for their riders. Whichever app you choose to use is just up to you. The important thing is that you’ll get to your destination secure and hassle free. Like that old adage says, it’s the journey that matters more, not the destination.
Grab has two services available for Cebu: GrabTaxi and GrabCar. GrabTaxi is a booking and dispatching service and has a metered fare while GrabCar is a car booking app that sends a privately owned car to your destination and has a fixed rate.
You can “Favorite” frequent destinations by tapping on the stars beside the locations. You also have an option to pay by cash or credit card.
Once you’re a Grab user, Grab often sends texts for promo codes, which the user should be familiar to since it has to be typed in before hailing a vehicle.
GrabRewards, Grab’s loyalty program, users can earn points each time they ride with Grab. For every P10 spent gets you one point. With the accumulated points, users can upgrade their membership to Silver, Gold and Platinum, each one with corresponding perks for the riders. Points can be used for free or discounted rides.
Also look for freebies and discounts from Grab’s Reward Partners, which range from restaurants, online shops, online hotel bookings and even free data roaming!