December 21, 2022
MANILA – Desperate about the Christmas traffic and the lack of rides in Metro Manila, some commuters have resorted to asking at least one app-based mover to “deliver” them to their destinations.
Alas, it is not yet the policy of the courier company to accommodate such transactions.
Anna (not her real name) recalled how she tried, for two hours, to book a Grab ride from her Makati office to her Quezon City residence.
That was in November, a month before the Christmas rush, but already the traffic was “terrible,” she said.
“I didn’t want to take the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) because the line was too long and it was just too crowded,” she told the Inquirer, adding that she also did not want to risk being infected with COVID-19.
When she couldn’t even get a ride through motorcycle platform Angkas, Anna thought of contacting delivery service Lalamove, selecting a four-wheel vehicle.
Upon the driver’s arrival, she told him that she actually had no item for delivery—except, well, herself. The driver agreed.
“He then told me during our trip that I wasn’t the first to try getting a ride through Lalamove,” she said.
She paid P550, including a P200 tip, for that ride—in contrast to her typical Grab fare of about P800.
Lalamove must have gotten wind of such resourcefulness among commuters that on Tuesday it issued an advisory informing patrons that it was “not licensed” to transport people.
“Our Lalamove Bossings have the right to refuse since this is illegal and is not allowed in our platform,” the company said.
“Let us help each other by allowing our partner drivers to focus on fulfilling your Christmas rush deliveries,” it added.
Traffic and mobility in the country’s capital have gained notoriety worldwide, if international studies are any indication.
In the 2022 Urban Mobility Readiness Index of the Oliver Wyman Forum and the University of California in Berkeley, Manila ranked 58th among 60 cities, with Nairobi and Lagos completing that list.
The top five cities in terms of urban mobility were San Francisco, Stockholm, Helsinki, Singapore and Zurich.
Arriving from abroad early this month, journalist Atom Araullo took to social media to relate his experience as a stranded traveler right here at home.
“No coupon taxis, no metered taxis, no Grab. We also do not have a bus or train here. Basically, if you do not have someone to pick you up, you’re dead,” he said in a tweet that became viral. “It’s been an hour and counting. This is what a broken transpo system looks like,” he said.