My students recently concluded studies on popular ridesharing/carsharing services Uber and Grab. The studies details how, for example, people have come to prefer Grab Taxi, Grab Car and Uber over regular taxis. One important finding and conclusion in one study is that Uber and Grab in the Philippines cannot be considered as contributing to sustainable transport. Note that this conclusion is just for the Philippine case and perhaps can be further constrained to Metro Manila since all data collected was with the geographical bounds of the metropolis.
There is already a perception that there is an oversupply of vehicles being used for what is being claimed as ride-sharing or car-sharing. This is due to the surge in new vehicle purchases as people joined the Grab/Uber bandwagon. Who can resist the opportunity to earn good money from being a Grab or Uber driver? That is basically the question answered by a lot of people who decided to purchase cars and register these and themselves for Grab or Uber.
To see if there is some truth to this perception of oversupply, we use one ride-sharing app for the information it provides users. One can make a quick check of how many Grab vehicles are moving about and ‘looking’ or waiting for riders/passengers. Following are what’s displayed on my phone in three random instances last Tuesday for GrabCar. I leave it up to the reader to draw conclusions from these screenshots.
More in Part 2…