With the recent update of GrabTaxi mobile app to v3.0, different reactions and comments have surfaced on the mobile app’s review page and on various social media pages. The update last August 26 gave its subscribers a look at what to expect as changes and improvements are on its way for GrabTaxi.
Since its inception, GrabTaxi made it clear that they are here to revolutionize the taxi industry in countries they’ve chosen to launch the now $700 million funded app in Southeast Asia.
With a total 6.1 million mobile downloads (according to latest data), GrabTaxi has become SEA‘s No. 1 transport app that has expanded services like GrabCar, GrabCar+, GrabExpress, and GrabBike.
The update was meant to be.
Nice and wonderful UI
- No doubt that GrabTaxi v3.0 has a more animated feature and users can enjoy the images on their mobile devices.
- Preferred service, pick-up and drop-off locations, and estimated fare in one page.
- Now with v3.0, all the basic info like the types of service (GrabTaxi, GrabExpress, GrabCar-Sedan, and GrabCar+) are rolled out in a single page together with the choice of pick-up and drop-off locations, and the estimated fare will flash on the screen to give the user the details of his or her ride.
Choose Your Service Type
- The Choose Your Service Type page gives the passenger an idea of the service type for booking; booking fee; base fare; per km and per minute charge; waiting time; coverage area (for GrabExpress); and notes and reminders for rush hour and peak hour rates.
- Once you’ve chosen the type of service, you’ll be redirected to the main booking page.
- The app acknowledges your booking history and are saved on your inbox.
Notes to driver and Promo Code
- The Notes to driver and Promo Code are shown on-screen when you hit the next page.
- In certain countries, payment option for credit or debit card has been rolled out. Here in the Philippines, GrabTaxi only accepts cash payments.
- Before the v3.0 update, booking was easy breezy and confirmation of the ride only takes a minute or less. With v3.0, several users of the app mentioned how difficult it was to book a ride considering there are a lot of available cars and the name of drivers are visible from the screen and yet it takes several minutes before one bidding can been accepted. What’s worse is when there’s no drivers who will take the bid.
- In the previous version, the tip is not visible (or as we believe, was never encourage at all) in both the passenger and driver’s UI. Tipping the driver then has been an option, was never compulsory; but it’s understandable that during rush and peak hours, it’s for the passenger to decide whether to give a tip or not.
- With the new version, the tip is shown after failed attempts to “encourage more drivers to accept the bid.” We see the problem here.
- Showing the tip box may encourage the driver to accept the bid but at the same time this feature may also drive them (drivers) to become selective or choosy (which has been the case nowadays, as far as complaints on social media are concern) of their bidding. It’s not that this is a bad idea, but ‘showing the tip‘ only increases the chance for drivers to accept ONLY bookings that come with additional tip. This could be a reason why a lot of available drivers are just circling around the area, waiting for passengers who will place additional tip on top of their booking.
- Unlike Uber, GrabTaxi UI shows the pick-up and drop-off locations, which I think is reasonable and just right to ensure passenger’s safety. On the part of the driver, this feature not only helps them calculate how far or near they’ll transport their passengers, or for them to know where to divert to less traffic roads in the metro.
- For Uber drivers, this feature does not allow them to refuse bookings which makes it convenient for passengers.
- I guess GrabTaxi should adopt this feature.
- From what I’ve heard, the news where many cases of drivers refusing the bid is primarily because of the drop-off location. I’ve had shares of conversations with GrabCar drivers, and most of them told me that they generally earned a lot from making multiple bookings in a 24-hour shift. Some of them complete as many as 20 booking quota and its equivalent income raises up to PhP 30k to 40k a month. Not bad for hardworking drivers.
- But this common practice only makes the drivers to be more selective of their bids. They would not complete their quota if they will accept bookings from point A to point Z or vice-versa. Simple logic. What they’ll do is to accept bookings from the nearest radius so they can make another round in less than a period of time. Call it a guess, but showing the drivers the location of drop-off would make them vulnerable to abuse such practice.
- IMHO, the drop-off location should be hidden from the driver’s UI.
These are my opinion on the v3.0 update. We know that it has just started and who knows, the problems that we see right now will soon be given attention for the improvement of GrabTaxi mobile app service.
We must also remember, that GrabTaxi or Uber app was built to help ease out the many problems of the transport industry and they can only do as much from their ends.
If you think they’re failing, you have a choice. If you’re complaining of how difficult it is to book GrabTaxi or how expensive Uber rides are, you can always go back to public transport that are not supported by these apps. There are other modes of transport like regular cabs, LRT, MRT, bus, jeepneys, etc. We do have choices.
But put this in mind. Until we can’t see a reformed and structured public transport system offered by the government, we are fortunate that we have GrabTaxi and Uber around, which are both making a big difference and convenience for our daily lives.
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