Category Archives: transportation

Commuting to Manila

UBER no longer available

Since Uber is suspended and when I checked Grab, the fee was über high I decided to take the shuttle, those UV Express Service.

I had to go to my son’s dorm in UST area. So, I was told to take the shuttle from Bicutan to Lawton and get off at Park n Ride in Lawton. From there, I would take the jeep to UST-Dapitan. Alright.

My husband took me to the shuttle terminal in Egypt, Doña Soledad but there was a long line, so he took me to the terminal at the back of SM Bicutan. There was no line there! Yey!

We took off right away and OMG! My driver was the king of the road! We took the Skyway and even if it was packed our driver managed to snake his way through by changing lanes and honking his horn. He was driving this way until we reached Buendia turned to Dian-Durango-Bautista-P.Ocampo-Taft until we reached Lawton.

Since, I would be stopping off at his last stop, I seated myself at the back of the van. It was cramped but that is commuting for you. I didn’t mind. Besides the AC of the van was working well. What I didn’t like was the way the driver went about his business. I felt I had to also stretch my foot as if putting on the breaks and would close my eyes several times waiting for the crash to happen. I couldn’t remember the many times we almost crash into a vehicle ahead of us or beside us. He wanted to be ahead of every vehicle! I looked around my co-passengers and they seemed to didn’t mind. Some were staring into space, some were napping. But all of them were hooked on their smartphones listening to music or watching a video.

Would you believe? I was praying that a traffic enforcer would flag us down and arrest the driver. I didn’t care if I would be late for my appointment or something. I just wanted the driver to be apprehended.

I was the last one to get off at Lawton, and I said, “Grabe ka Kuya magdrive parang ambulansya.” (trans: you’re driving was crazy man!) And he just responded with a naughty smile. Grrrr!

I felt really unsafe!

Was it because I was no longer used to taking public transport or was that driver an exception and was really reckless?

So, here’s an appeal to LTFRB or whichever agency is it that handles erring drivers–may it be vans or cabs–to passionately pursue disciplining them like LTFRB is doing with Uber and other ride-sharing services.

Safe transport does not only involve having all the documents, complying with all the licenses or what-have-you. It also involves having conditioned public utility vehicles and responsible drivers.

Ridden the U-Hop Yet?

U-Hop

U-Hop, photo grabbed from TechInAsia article.

I just read the article on TechInAsia about U-Hop getting $7.4m funding for Asia rollout.

U-Hop is an Uber for shuttle vans that’s fast growing in Manila. The capital is known for having the worst urban traffic in the world, and it doesn’t need any more cars on the road than it currently has. Ride hailing apps Uber and Grab are just adding to the gridlock by catering to only one user at a time. U-Hop’s answer is to put more commuters in vans, which can seat about seven people per trip. The company claims to already serve 550,000 passengers who regularly take its shuttle service. Read more…

I remember our carpooling a couple of years ago and how the MAPSA would always flag us down and we would explain, then be let go.

Our carpooling was organized by one neighbor who knew of a retiree who could drive us to Makati every morning. So, the neighbor invited us, her friends, who work in Makati to join in. We were just 5 at most. We thought it was a better way to commute than bringing our own cars and spend for gas and parking. Besides with fewer cars on the road, it would ease up traffic a bit. But every trip, our driver would be praying  that the MAPSA guy won’t turn his preying eyes on us, because he was told that carpooling services should be for people who work for the same office/company only. Whut?

So, yeah, and then comes this ridesharing app, U-Hop, which I think follows the same concept.

I know in other countries, they encourage carpooling to decongest roads. These carpooling are done by mothers who would take turns to bring their children to school.  I also know some groups of friends who take turns taking their car to  work. They didn’t really need to register their services.

Above all, I still wish for a good public transportation in this country. Improve LRT, MRT, PNR services already!

 Let’s stay connected, find AmOnTheStreets on Facebook.

Magallanes Interchange Closed, Reroute!

MAGALLANES-FLYOVER-CLOSED

Source

The southbound lane of the Magallanes flyover along South Super Highway will be closed to traffic starting at 10 p.m. Friday until August 17, Sunday. The road work is in line with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Magallanes Interchange Rehabilitation Project.

Thus, this rerouting scheme.

I live in the South, and so I hope the traffic won’t be so bad, as it is bad as it is.

My Destination Wish List

I haven’t traveled on business for about seven months now, and the family for about 10 months. Well several reasons, one of which is that we are investing in a big project this year, which we hope will culminate by year end. After that, we are going to be living on a tight budget. LOL

Needless to say, living on a tight budget doesn’t mean not being to travel still. Who knows, I might still go on a trip—free trip at that—courtesy of Air Asia Zest and Nuffnang.

My destinations wish list for this year and into the next year are:

  1. Tagbilaran, Bohol
  2. Puerto Princesa, Palawan
  3. Shanghai, China

My husband went to Shanghai on business a couple of years ago, and he mentioned an interesting place, Pudong, where the old and the new Shanghai sort of faces off each other. I’d like to see that.

It would be interesting to fly with the new Air Asia Zest, after a successful merger of Air Asia and Zest Air. The airline is now offering Filipinos the right way to fly, which means taking you to your dream destinations at affordable prices.

Air Asia Zest flies from Manila to local Philippine destinations. Not only that Filipinos can now travel in Asia with Air Asia.
If you want to be in the loop of latest deals from Air Asia Zest, Like AirAsiaPhilippines on Facebook and Follow @AirAsiaPH on Twitter and tweet using the hash tag #AirAsiaInManila.

Book now! 😀

Car Repairs Made Easy

Our 2004 Isuzu Dimax 4×2  pick-up vehicle was recently serviced for general check-up and repair. With the odometer reading now at 245,000 kms., regular check-ups should not be missed.

First major operation include change oil and oil filter, and replacement of fuel filter. A good oiling condition will always make the engine perform efficiently. Next was the check-up on oil leak which resulted to replacement of input and output oil seal at crankshaft. This confirmed my earlier suspicion  that there seemed to be some oil leaks observed at the bottom of the engine. The water pipe hose was likewise replaced because it was found to be already quite “soft” and could anytime malfunction and leak which would result to overheating. All belts were also replaced. These were, timing belt (engine), steering belt (steering wheel), alternator belt (battery charging system), and air-con belt (air conditioner). All of these already showed signs of deterioration after almost reaching their respective service lives. Miscellaneous jobs like check-up of brake and lighting system were finally done.

A minor glitch occurred when it was time to pay for all the repair and check-up jobs. The cost was way over our budget. Let’s just say, we were not able to estimate the cost correctly. If only we consulted a repair price estimator, we could have been more prepared.

It pays to have your cars regularly checked. And it won’t hurt if you also research on auto care tips. It saves you from more expensive repairs and parts acquisition in the future and from the added inconveniences of frequent car breakdowns on the road. More importantly, it may cost your lives.

Lessons from Moving

Finally, we’re settled in our new office. But the process was mind-boggling!

Our first challenge was to find reliable movers to transport our stuff to the new address. We searched for local moving companies on the Internet and called up the company that was top on the list.

Unfortunately, the experience with them was a disaster. We set the moving out on a Sunday at 10 in the morning to make the moving as hassle-free as possible. About 9AM, I called the movers to re-confirm the appointment. The company told me that the truck and their people had already left, and was heading to our place. We waited.

By 11AM, no sign of the truck, no advice of any delay. So I called again, the trucking company, and asked about the truck’s whereabouts when it was already an hour late from our appointment. The person on the other line however went, “Since you’re angry at us now, I might as well advice my people to head back. Let’s cancel the appointment.” And he put down the phone.

The appointment was canceled just like that. Good thing, we didn’t make any down payment. So that first attempt at moving out didn’t happen. We had to reschedule and look for another trucking service. We were luckier with our next trucking service. This time the company was easy to negotiate, their trucking service on time (actually 5 minutes early). We hired them for the remainder of our moving-out days.

I’m sure if we had Houston relocation services here in the country, our move would have been made a lot easier and faster. When you’re moving, it pays to have a reliable moving company.