Another Year With Uber Has Gone By; 2017 Shows Its Riders Who They Are
It’s been almost three years now since Uber was given the go to operate nationwide as a ride booking service in mid-2015, and nearly four years since it landed in Metro Manila for the first time. Uber is undeniably the country’s premier TNVS (Transportation Network Vehicle Service) and 2017, another “year with Uber” here in the Philippines, has been a pretty colorful topsy-turvy one, so to speak.
We’d be quite honest if we said that the last several months might have brought in some negative experiences for the company in light of its legal challenges. However, we caught up with Lawrence Cua, Uber Philippines’ General Manager, at the “Year With Uber” event in BGC, last week. He confesses that Uber has taken somewhat of a bureaucratic beating recently, but in spite of all the hurdles in 2017, he more or less still had a balanced view of this year’s good and bad.
As Uber’s event throbbed to the millenial vibe of by-gone nineties beats Lawrence Cua genuinely shared “2017 was definitely an amazing and a crazy year. We’ve been in the news a lot, and we’ve learned a lot from that experience. In the last three months alone we’ve had about 1.6 million riders just using Uber. People are now not buying cars and saying ‘you know, forget the second or third car, I’ll just Uber’, it’s more practical, and because of that drivers are earning more money.”
A handful of influencers, models, and content creators were present at the Year With Uber event as well and way more than game to put their Uber stories on the table. Saab Magalona, who was quite vocal last July regarding this year’s TNVS vs. LTFRB hullaballoo (see her tweet here) performed for Uber’s party with her well-known band, The Cheats.
Top wedding videographer Jason Magbanua revealed how touched he was to see Uber technology being harnessed by senior citizen drivers with the drive to keep up with the times. “It’s quaint when you have Uber drivers who are older.” Jason said, “I like that they try to provide for whoever they need to like maybe family, grandkids, or themselves.”
“To see them go into territory that is technology-based, learning Waze, navigating the app and a smartphone…that’s wonderful. That’s how it should be, technology should help not just young people but old people as well, people of all ages.”
When it comes to old people on the riders’ side of the Uber story, suave Year With Uber event host and fitness coach, Vince Velasco, recounts how the app has enabled him to help his older folks go places hassle-free “For example, my mom who’s not techie, I’m able to book for my mom…and I’m able to book for my dad sometimes. It’s really helped not just me but even my family when it comes to traveling around.”
Sartorial girl-boss, Martine Cajucom, also enjoys the Uber Pool option sometimes since it opens doors to meeting new people. She’s also pocketed unique Uber experiences during her trips across the globe, Martine shares “One time in particular that was really interesting was when I was in Melbourne going to the airport at 6am and I was talking to an Afghani refugee [Uber driver]. It was such an interesting story of how he fled Afghanistan and became a refugee in Australia. He made a new life for himself. Uber gave him a livelihood and I was really moved by that. That was cool.”
Uber also released some new information about Pinoy Uber riders over the last few years. The following bursts of Uber news piqued our interest.
Lawrence Cua also returned to the point of Uber’s newest service to its selection, Uber Pool, the choice to book for a significantly lower price if you opt share the vehicle with other riders. A whopping 40% of Uber passengers avail of the more affordable ride-sharing service option in addition to the standard private car option and the more premium Uber XL. He quickly related to how helpful this new service option has become in a country beset by traffic volume woes “Uber pool is like a real carpool solution. What used to take 2 or 3 cars to take people to a destination, ngayon nagiging isa nalang. Almost half of all Uber rides are Uber Pool, and that’s a milestone for us this 2017.”
As a sort of creative nod in thanks to its riders in the past year, Uber has come up with a cute gimmick. Several personality archetypes are graphically unveiled in an online digital music video experience made possible by riders’ account and travel stats. The key is to find out which Uber rider you are:
- The All Star - All-Stars make some serious moves. They move from place to place, finding comfort in the backseat space.
- The Explorer - Collecting miles, both air and road, is a habit for Explorers. Travel is part and parcel of their lives, and once on the ground, Uber is their default mode.
- The Early Bird - Early Birds are quintessentially morning people. While others are still in bed, they've made their way, making sure they get the most out of their day.
- The Midday Wanderer - Midday Wanderers are all about town before the sun goes down. They hop around to shop, run errands or have tea. They get a ton done before making the home run.
- The Nightrider - While others are home, you'll no doubt find Nightriders out and about. More often found under the moon than out in the sun, they're the life of the party.
- The Roadtripper - There's no such thing as roads less travelled for Roadtrippers. They have clocked in some serious road miles from one adventure to the next.
- The Lux Rider - Lux Riders are all about unrivalled comfort and top-class service. Sophisticated in every way, they want the very best and they get it.
Your destinations and ride history as an Uber rider come into play through a compiled music video. Curious to know who you are on the road? Find out which Uber rider archetype you are when logging in to yearwithuber.com.
Photography by Julia Arenas and from: Instagram.com/jesswilson, Instagram.com/thatguyslater, Twitter.com/JSNMBGNSZN, also provided by Uber PH