The Current Situation
Tens of thousands of taxis plough the streets of Manila everyday. They can be seen near every shopping establishment, restaurant, commercial building and even in residential neighborhoods. But, for reasons unknown, it seems impossible for most Filipinos to hail a taxi. Even when stopped, some strange force is seemingly keeping the potential passengers from entering the vehicles. Scientists have named this unknown force as Grievances Against Getting On-board Non-complying Generic Drivers or simply, G.A.G.O.N.G Drivers.
This strange phenomenon is observed in most taxis, new and old. The only way to reverse the forces polarity, according to researchers, is by offering to pay more than what is due.
One local group has refused to accept to live with this malevolent force, and has proposed a transportation initiative that is so bold and is so ingenious in its conception, that it may very well change the landscape for commuters across the country.
Customized Automobile Butlers is very simple in it’s design and execution. “Basically, these Customized Automobile Butlers, or CABs, are cars that will be driving around the city, looking for customers.” explains Dra. Obveyuz Baa, who heads the local group. “Customers can be from any race, age, sex and religion. The drivers will then stop and ask the customer where they would like to go. The driver will then bring the customer to said location, regardless of how far or inconvenient it is to get there.”
Agila News asked the obvious question on what kind of payment system would be the most optimal and efficient for such a unique transportation system. “The idea we have in mind is a mechanical-based counter, or ‘Meter’, that charges fixed amounts based on how far the destination is from where the customer was initially picked up.” Dra. Baa replied. “It would start with an amount or what we call a ‘flag-down fee’, which would be the minimum amount the customer would pay.”
Dra. Baa continued “After a fixed amount of time or distance, this amount would increase incrementally, until the driver reaches the agreed-upon destination.”
“At all times, a device right below the dashboard displays the amount due for the customer. This transparency is important for the customer to feel secure in the fact that they are not being cheated or ripped off.” said Dra. Baa while showing us a prototype of the device. “The device will even print receipts!”
Once the destination is reached, according to Dra. Baa, the customer pays the amount displayed. Not more, not less. The driver will also give exact change, as this is the practice for tricycles, jeepneys and buses. “The customer can expect to receive the appropriate amount of change, and will not be made to feel bad at any time that they have given exact amount only, or have large bills.”
Tips will be welcomed, but not be enforced. Dra. Baa pondered, “What kind of arrogant, piece of crap thinks that they are owed anything extra for doing exactly what is in their job description? Seriously, a pedicab driver has never asked me for more money just because there happened to be traffic in the area.”
“If a person does not want to experience traffic or a little discomfort, perhaps they should not have been drivers in the first place.” Dra. Baa said to us calmly.
The transportation bureau is currently reviewing the proposal, and Dra. Baa is hoping to hear a response before the end of the year.
We here at Agila News are excited about this new transportation system and look forward to using it very soon.