The Hailing Apps: Fake news or not?
STREETLIFE - Nigel Paul C. Villarete (The Freeman) - February 13, 2018 - 12:00am

(Part 1)

Nothing has revolutionized urban transportation nowadays as much as the so-called hailing apps -Uber, Lyft, Grab, Hailo, or Easy Taxi, among others. These are generally competing with the traditional taxi services. There are even apps for motorcycles, too -CamGo, Ubermoto, Angkas, etc. These have been received with a wide array of acceptance levels, mostly generally positive, by the riding public, as they offer a safe, easy, and comfortable alternative to other modes of transport as well as a better one versus their taxi counterparts.

But the persistent question often asked is do these new 21st-century smartphone apps address the issue of traffic congestion? A lot of studies have been done to answer this with varying, oftentimes conflicting results. Mostly the divergence rests on the different interpretation of the question -it is not simply asking whether the app(s) are good or bad, on whether they are beneficial or not. Convenience-wise, they're excellent, hands down! But we need to repeat the question -do they mitigate congestion in the metropolis?

To make that differentiation, we need to see all the positive and negative points first, and then we classify these to whether they refer to, and address, congestion or not. Positive views first, the first of which is the issue on utilization of unused transport assets. Before the advent of hailing apps, we have private cars being parked during the day unused, while their owners go about their daily work, say, in offices. The very concept of hailing apps started with the proposition that we can use these private cars for public purposes (like taxis) when the owners do not need them during the day. This improves utilization of car assets.

Secondly, hailing apps offer the convenience of the simplicity of smartphones booking a ride and then waiting for the car to pick you up, instead of running around physically hailing cabs with your hands (often with a shout), while empty cabs may or may not be around you. You can even book while still inside your office. And they pick you up. And you know the fare in advance. And you can pay by credit card with the receipt emailed to you. Nothing gets any more convenient than that. Not now, anyway.

Third, theoretically, vehicles with hailing apps may opt not to cruise around looking for rides -passengers just book them when they want one. Of course, they may just try to position themselves where they think rides abound, but they can opt to just park around and wait. This minimizes the number of vehicles actually on the road at any given time. And lastly, some say these apps decrease car ownership. This may seem far-fetched to me, but, well -they listed this as a bonus. Kuno. I say, "kuno" because I don't see any reason why people who would have wanted cars, won't buy anymore, because they like these apps.

These are the few reasons (the main ones) why hailing apps are good. The negatives will be for our next column.

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.