Nowadays, having a personal vehicle is more of a necessity than a luxury. With the Covid-19 pandemic, commuting has been scarier more than ever. This is especially true if you have to bring your children somewhere. But recently, I would book a GrabCar for some of our errands around Bacolod City. Why would I do that even when I have my own car? Let me take you down memory lane.
My Personal Experience with Commuting
Well, let me tell you this story first before I answer the question above.
When I was in college, I studied at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. Every school day, I had to commute going to school.
There came a time when the travel to school was so tiring since it takes 2 to 3 rides from my maternal grandmother’s house. Plus, it is like a 30-45 minute trip.
So I asked my father if maybe they could get me a second-hand car that I could use in Cebu.
My wise Papa told me that there is a better option. All you have to do, he said, is to raise your hand and a chauffeured vehicle will come to you. You can even ride a different model each time, he adds.
But what he meant was that, I should raise my hand to hail a jeepney ride. It has a driver and I get to ride a different one every day. He actually had no plans of getting me my own car.
Oh well, I tried my luck.
Hailing a Ride Made Trendy
Actually, my father had a point and it was a matter of perspective. The way he said it made the option of commuting sounded more convenient and way cooler.
There are indeed downsides to hailing a jeepney or a taxi, especially in Cebu. In the city, these vehicles are mostly occupied during rush hour. It was really hard to secure a ride when your dismissal is at the same time as the end of the workday for professionals.
Eventually, commuting has evolved. We now have Transport Network Vehicle Service or TNVS. Here in Bacolod City, there is only one that can provide vehicles that don’t have labels on the car doors—and that is, GrabCar. I think TNVS units are a cross between rent-a-car, “limousine” service, and a taxi service.
Why Do I Book a GrabCar When I Finally Have a Car?
So now, the ultimate question: Why do I still book a GrabCar ride when I am Superman…er when I now own a vehicle?
Mainly, it is for convenience. GrabCar is very efficient if where I am going to does not have a big parking space. The driver can just drop me off and go on his way. Then I just book another ride in order to go home.
Secondly, I also book a GrabCar when I need to travel via sea or air. Wifey doesn’t drive so I cannot bring myself in our own car going to the seaport or airport. There is no one to drive back the car.
Thirdly, we also book a GrabCar ride when we are going around in other cities where the service is offered. It is easy and convenient plus we know that it is much safer than just booking a regular taxi.
We used to travel a lot to Manila and Cebu and there are reports of people getting ripped off with exorbitant taxi fares. With GrabCar, you only pay what you booked for and it’s up to you if you want to tip the driver for good service.
GrabCar in the New Normal
But we haven’t traveled anymore since the pandemic broke out in March. Our last family travel was in February 2020 when all of us went to Baguio City and Pampanga.
And with all the government-imposed quarantine periods, we stayed home most of the time.
It has been about a year since the Covid-19 virus has wreaked havoc. I have been thinking, maybe it is time to move on. This is not really to start ignoring the virus and move around like we used to before. No, WE SHOULD NOT PRETEND THAT THE VIRUS IS NO LONGER HERE.
But we have to figure out a way with how to proceed with our lives and how to always stay safe. Our family has been doing that for about a year now. Scientists and doctors have discovered ways how to avoid getting infected or even spread the virus. And we are religiously following these.
And I am glad that GrabCar has been following all those guidelines and safety protocols that the experts have been recommending.
Of all the guidelines, I most appreciate the cashless transaction that GrabCar offers. I understand that not everybody is able to acquire a credit card. But with GrabPay, anybody who uses the Grab App is able to go with cashless transactions by topping up their virtual wallets. That way, all transactions with the driver are contactless.
Technology is amazing and I am thankful that it is making our lives easier even with the pandemic.