Category Archives: Travel

Why Riders Should Appreciate Uber In Singapore

Taken from Uber Trooper

Despite all the angst, rantings and complains on social media by riders, I feel that many of us have forgotten what it was like less than 3 to 5 years ago. Although private hire cars such as Uber is the new normal in Singapore now, in the not too distant past, things was not that rosy for passengers.

Waiting & Calling Frustration

Most of you would remember how difficult to get a taxi in the morning and evening peak periods last time. You would be standing on the streets and jostling with other people for “prime” spots to get a taxi. If you decide to make a phone booking, you would be lucky if your call was connected and you were not put on hold. (COMFORT did improve their system by having a a booking app. However, I had to try booking many times as there were no drivers available).

It the late afternoon, often we had to haggle with taxi drivers because most of them are changing shift.  In the bewitching hours between 11 pm to 12 midnight, count yourself lucky if you can get a cab on the road. Most taxi drivers are either waiting for call bookings or waiting for the midnight charge to start.

At Your Doorstep

Now, you can literally get a ride within minutes at your doorstep. The average arrival time is about 5 minutes. Maximum 10 minutes tops. Your booking is done through the app and completed in less than 1 minute.

Affordable fares

With the ongoing various options,  competition and increased supply in the market, this has resulted in lower fares generally. What you were paying $20 back then, would cost you about $15 now. For those taking rides from the airport or after midnight, you save on the airport and midnight surcharges. Double joy for those who book an Uber at the airport after midnight!

Still there are passengers who complain about the high fares during surge pricing. Remember, out of 10 rides that you made, you would have probably saved quite a bit for 7 rides as compared to taking normal taxis. You would have probably enjoyed perks such as promo codes. So stop whining if you have to pay a bit more for the 3 rides!

Multiple Destinations

Unlike its competitor, Uber does not charge an additional fee for multiple stops. You are only charged for the additional distance travelled for the stops. You don’t have to argue with the driver whether the additional stop is along the way, within 5km or more than 5km from your drop-off point. (Do note that Uber drivers are not obliged to agree to multiple stops. It helps if you ask nicely and let them know early.)

Every Booking Is A Surprise To Drivers

When  a booking comes in, an Uber driver cannot see the destination of the booking. The driver can only see the name, ratings and pick-up location. We do not know the fare and the drop-off location.  The driver will only know the drop-off destination once the trip is started. This system benefits the passengers as drivers cannot cherry pick passengers. For Uber’s competitor, the drivers can see the fare and the drop-off location.  Do you think they are more likely to reject bookings that are for short distance or to remote areas?

Uber Started The Evolution

With Uber’s brand recognition and presence overseas, this has helped the authorities and the public to accept the concept of private hire car community in Singapore. With such a big brand making headlines abroad, Singapore as a modern city, cannot be seem to be afraid of the new tech economy. This caused  seismic change in the whole transportation landscape where you as consumers benefit.

So before you rant any further on Facebook, Stomp, ASS about your Uber ride, please imagine if Uber did not exist.

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Uber in Singapore

While the Uber service has come under fire in most countries with taxi drivers attacking both Uber drivers and its passengers, the service operates peacefully together with its rival Grab, which is backed by the Government.

In order to level the playing field so as to maintain the peace between Private Cars used as Taxis and Taxis, new rules and regulations were put in place.  In addition to that, additional requirements for child seats! were placed on cars doing Uber and Grab services. See “Private Hire Cars not exempt from child seat requirement, But Taxis are.

Then there are the additional services like GrabHitch which is unique to the GRAB ecosystem. This falls under the real car pooling system where a private car owner can select and pick up a rider traveling his way.

This has been abused by some retards! who found that it is cheaper to travel by GrabHitch! than the Public Bus or MRT system! when you have a group of 3 or more passengers.

Reason is, Under the Public Transport system, fare is based on the number of passengers. Under GrabHitch, fare is based on the distance.

While the authorities in Singapore have successfully managed to allow Uber, Grab and Taxis to coexist in the environment, something must be done to the misers who exploit the system for their benefit and use public resources for it.

My suggestion is for GrabHitch pricing to be charged by the number of passengers! and not by distance!

This is required in order to protect the public transport charging system.

In the mean time, kudos to the Singapore Government for being the first in successfully having UBER operate peacefully together with Taxis! even though UBER claims to just be the technology partner and not a Taxi operator and the ones who are bearing the brunt of all this are the Uber Drivers.

UBER Cheap Rides

Uber! The service which uses private cars to double up as taxis has enforced the saying “shooting yourself in the foot”, in every country they start operations in.

The start off low key with advertising just by word of mouth, in a new country.   With false advertising, they are able to convince car owners to literally trust Uber! to decide the cost of providing a service, which costs Uber nothing, while Uber charges a commission rate to car owners for providing the service. All due to false advertising.

Problem starts when Uber gets greedy and starts to lower fares through the app. As long as the fares are not lower than taxis, they are ok. But once they become lower than taxis!  they attract attention.

Uber says lower fares are good for consumers. True.
Uber says lower fares means more business for its drivers. Not True.  It is more money for Uber as Uber collects a percentage of the price it quotes.

Consumers love cheaper fares and will always support Uber and the saying is true in any country.  Taxis are always more expensive than Uber! in most parts of the world. That I feel is because that in every country, the Taxi Industry and Tourism Industry is controlled by the Government of that country.

But then why is Uber seen in negative light all around the world? Is the Taxi and Tourism industry so tightly linked with the Government worldwide?

Are Taxi prices dependent on what the Government sets! Is UBER trying to be a World Government! for Taxis!

 

UBER killed the Chauffeur Service Industry

Uber provides rides on demand, which is similar to the process of booking a taxi in any country.  Initially when it started, it was in direct competition with the Chauffeur Service Industry as it offered Limousines on Demand with its “Uber Black Service”.

Next step forward was allow normal vehicles into the ecosystem, making it in direct competition with the taxi booking system in whichever country this was implemented.

How they spread so quickly worldwide by just providing an application! without having to bear any of the costs or responsibilities for providing the actual transportation service and by actually charging those responsible for providing the service (The Partners)  a 20 to 35 percent charge which Uber sets, is simply an amazing business concept.

The best part comes in the form of fare surges! which Uber deems appropriate according to the rules of supply and demand. This happens when there is a sudden catastrophe and Uber comes to the rescue with “Helicopter Taxi” pricing. They (Uber the app provider) still get between 25% to 35 percent for each trip.

The industry grew because UBER offered a better option and cheaper option for Taxi Booking in every country without dipping in its own pockets for having a Taxi Fleet in these countries.  Yet UBER posted a lost of a few billions.

Did UBER kill the Chauffeur Service Industry? They could have if they did not get greedy!

 

Leave comments below.

WAZE and your Privacy

Just to highlight some points taken from an article posted on Digital Trends.

Registered users can earn points which unlock additional features in the app, but this comes at the cost of privacy such as knowing your travel patterns, speed of travel, the routes you take and so on.

If your account is linked with FaceBook, all these info would be made available there too.

Link to the full article here.  Waze is a privacy accident waiting to happen

Why you can never make money doing Uber Pool

What is Uber Pool?

This has got nothing to do with the lottery or gambling industry, but it is Uber’s version of Car Pooling. Visit Wikipedia, for an in depth explanation of car pooling

Carpooling (also car-sharing, ride-sharing, lift-sharing and covoiturage) is the sharing of car journeys so that more than one person travels in a car.

By having more people using one vehicle, carpooling reduces each person’s travel costs such as fuel costs, tolls, and the stress of driving. Carpooling is also a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way to travel as sharing journeys reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion on the roads, and the need for parking spaces. Authorities often encourage carpooling, especially during periods of high pollution or high fuel prices.

Drivers and passengers offer and search for journeys through one of the several mediums available. After finding a match they contact each other to arrange any details for the journey(s). Costs, meeting points and other details like space for luggage are agreed on. They then meet and carry out their shared car journey(s) as planned.

So basically carpooling is done in advance! where riders and drivers agree on various details in advance. The driver knows who he has to pickup from where and can plan his route efficiently. The driver gets to fill his car with the maximum number of passengers it can carry, which is is the core of the idea of car pooling.

Now UBER comes out with UBER pool, which is an on-demand car pooling service. What happens is that drivers have to cruise around waiting for pings (trip requests) from potential passengers.

Passengers have the ability to choose between a regular Uber Taxi service or a Uber Pool service where they understand that they will be sharing the ride home with a stranger at a discounted fare.

Drivers will be notified through the ping whether it is a UBER taxi or UBER pool ride and the driver can choose whether to accept a pool request. If he accepts a pool request, he has to travel to the first pickup point. Since he is already on Uber pool jobs, other requests can come in and sometimes even while he is on the way to pickup the first passenger. It is up to him to decide who to pickup first.

This service while in theory sounds fantastic! It has left a bad experience for both drivers and passengers. Do a search on Google for the details.

The problem is with UBER! for trying to make a car pooling service which requires advance booking and proper planning into an on-demand taxi service.

What is happening is people who need a taxi! using Uberpool and expecting taxi service while paying a highly discounted rate when compared to the normal taxi rate.

No joy for the driver who has to drive with Uber pool prices and no booking charge. Worse! if the driver receives NO Pings after picking up the first passenger. He has no choice but to send that passenger to the destination at highly discounted UBER Pool Price. On too of that, UBER deducts 30% commission as finder’s fee or whatever fee for providing the UBER App! for that ride.

Just received a pool request. Got to go. Leave your comments below.

Need Daily Rides in Singapore!

While Singapore prides itself as having one of the best public transportation in the world, that might be stretching the truth a little. No doubt the public buses or trains do arrive at regular intervals, they are often packed to the brim during rush hours in the morning and evening. During such periods, waiting for the next bus or train, because there is no way to enter the one that arrived, is a common scene.

Trying to hail a taxi or even book one in the mornings is like playing TOTO. Ride sharing apps have helped to reduce the demand but it is still playing TOTO as a ride is not guaranteed.

Apart from owning your own ride, be it a bike or car, the next best thing would be to have a regular driver come and pick you up. Some taxi drivers do offer this service for an additional charge. But this is strictly discouraged in the ride booking apps like
Uber or Grab. This could be due to the commission the ride sharing apps collect. Sidetrack, you could also read on the Confessions of a Ride-Share Cabbie.

In conclusion, if you require reliable daily rides and are willing to fork out slightly more than what a normal taxi ride costs, Check out Daily Transportation Service in Singapore