Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GrabTaxi Now Offers Davao Residents Better, Safer, and More Convenient Rides

Technology has indeed come a long way with mobile apps that genuinely make life easier. Many of you reading this, I'm sure, have experienced waiting in vain for an unoccupied taxicab at a street corner or falling in line outside a mall, not knowing what time you're going to get home.

Since it was launched in the Philippines in August last year, GrabTaxi has made getting a cab easier for its Metro Manila clients and, more recently, for Cebu residents just last July. GrabTaxi is a free-to-download mobile application that allows passengers to book a taxi ride with just a few taps on their smartphones. 

Starting October 22, those traveling within Davao City will also have a more convenient and faster way to get to their destinations. That's on top of the positive experiences many of us are already familiar with when riding with Davao's generally honest taxi drivers!

According to Natasha Bautista, GrabTaxi assistant general manager, during the media launch held at sagingrepablik yesterday and hosted by Bogart the Explorer, "Davao is the next big thing after Manila and Cebu. Now, passengers in Davao have additional options for travel especially during rush hours."

She likewise assures that Davaoenos can be certain GrabTaxi prioritizes their safety as "we are aligned with the national government's idea and standards of commuter safety." 

One of the things I personally like, and which I know you'll also appreciate, is that the GrabTaxi app has safety tracking features where passengers can book a taxi and literally watch it drive (in real time!) towards your designated pick-up point. You will also be provided with the taxi's plate number, driver's name, and phone number, all of which you can share to your loved ones via email or your social networking sites. Gives you more peace of mind, right? 

In addition, Bautista affirms that the GrabTaxi management carefully pre-screens all drivers to ensure that they do not have previous criminal records and regularly monitors their performance based on feedbacks given daily by passengers. "We want to change the image of transportation in the Philippines. We're constantly disciplining our drivers. We're strict with them and our passengers. We have a code of conduct and suspension system." 

Paolo Evalle, GrabTaxi Drivers Experience Head, explains that they both do positive and negative reinforcements. "We celebrate good behaviors. We train drivers not only how to use the app but also to improve their behavior. We want to have a positive effect to society."  

GrabTaxi CEO Anthony Tan says they only get the best and nicest drivers in each taxi fleet to further ensure their passengers' safety. "This is also a good opportunity for them to have an extra source of income as we offer benefits and incentives to drivers who perform well."

"We're very positive about this. People will always go to where there is better service. If you have the option to wait for a taxi inside [a building] and find a safer ride, you'll choose that," points out Bautista.

To date, GrabTaxi has been downloaded onto more than 2.1 million mobile devices in Southeast Asia. Besides, more than 360,000 people in six countries (Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia) use GrabTaxi at least once a month with three GrabTaxi bookings made every second. Now that's a lot of rides!

The existence of GrabTaxi solves a real problem of matching taxi drivers with passengers through the optimization of the latest smartphone technology and multiple data-points. It's a win-win situation because travelers can book a taxi faster when they need it most while drivers don't waste time waiting for customers.

Too, the GPS smartphone-based and comprehensive automatic dispatching system cuts down taxi operator allocation time from 15 minutes to 3 minutes. This helps increase the number of passengers being handled in addition to operators having access to a wealth of data while keeping track of their drivers' real-time locations with the live view feature.  

Need another good news? There will be no booking fees charged to GrabTaxi clients in Cebu and Davao until the end of 2014. So download and grab a taxi now!

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