I remember the times Uber wasn’t known just yet to the public and we had the chance to utilize it in a manner that’s like riding a secret limo service. It was an absolute delight, which made riding around Metro Manila comfortable and hassle-free.
Driving my own car meant I would consume my own fuel, I had to find a pay for a parking spot apart from the trouble of finding one, I had to be mindful of all the drivers on the road, and usage obviously wears the car down. That, or I could ride an Uber and get picked up from destination A and dropped off at destination B for a minimal fee.
The process was so seemless that I ended up not using my car for months. I ended up eager to go to places. Computing my average gas consumption vs what I spend on Uber, it wasn’t too bad, considering it’s only gas we’re talking about here.
I wouldn’t really dwell into the legalities of it, but basically, the local government eventually found out about Uber, and realized there is such a thing as ‘ride sharing’ service, and this needs to be regulated. Long story short, all the nitty gritty about technicalities, which wasn’t existent before killed Uber. Soon enough, it was out of the country.
I never had any problem with Uber drivers, who seemed to be genuine car owners with pleasant attitudes, who drove their rides for the sake of fun. It’s like they just had nothing to do with an extra car, and their kids are off to work or school, and they just wanted an extra side hustle, which wasn’t the main source of income to feel pressured about.
Today’s ride-sharing is a business. And when I say ‘business,’ I mean it’s simply there to make the most money out of the market – far from the friendliness and authenticity of an actual ride-sharing service for a fraction of what you usually pay.
If I wanted to hail a ride, it’s either I get a taxi, driven by the usual choosy grumpy +50 (minimum) driver, or get a Grab, which is basically a premium taxi, whether an actual taxi or a private car, branded under an app peddled with its unending surge. Not a generalization, but I can’t help but to have that impression. Of course today, Grab has become the staple, even expanding its services to delivery and food services. Nothing we can do about that anymore. Business is business, I’m just glad people make a living out of it.
Nevertheless, I miss the genuine comfort a service like Uber once gave me.