Cab rider’s sentiments
THE holiday season in Baguio is both most awaited and most dreaded by residents and visitors alike. It is most awaited because of the very Christmassy feeling brought by the cool weather as the northern winds make its presence felt. It is most dreaded because of the bad traffic that is experienced in the city, and my personal pet peeve, the seeming lack of taxi cabs any time of the day.
Just the past week, I have been late for work due to the difficulty of getting a cab ride in the morning. I thought that Grab would ease this difficulty but apparently, it does not.
I do not consider it a problem if there are no cabs plying the city’s roads or if all cabs that I try to hail are occupied. However, it is very frustrating to see cabs that are supposed to be available but choose not to stop and pick up commuters.
I often hear cab drivers during my frequent rides about their difficulty especially when the prices of fuel were still skyrocketing. They complain of the high prices of goods, proving more stressful for them to feed their families just from their income from driving their cabs for 24 hours, after the “boundary” and the cost of filling their gas tanks were deducted from their total revenue for that day.
Now, I believe it is the peak season. They are never vacant due to the demand for cabs for thousands of commuters in the city. It is actually their chance to earn a little bit more from what they may have missed from their down season. However, I still see cabs unoccupied passing by, pretending not to see me (and probably 5 more people) waving to hail him.
One time, a cab driver reasoned out that he needs to take his cigarette break that is why he can’t entertain any commuter that time. I am so sorry for that cab driver because there are at least 6 things that I can think of that he has foregone just because he chose to take his cigarette break.
First, the potential income from my taxi cab fare. Of course, it is pretty obvious that he has foregone this.
Second, the cost of the fuel that he consumed while unoccupied. Imagine, he can afford to take a joy ride, consuming gas and expecting no income to cover the cost of gas.
Third, the cost of cigarettes he needed to smoke. Cigarettes are already very expensive because of the TRAIN law that was implemented, imposing additional excise taxes on this sin product.
Fourth, the amount spent on the cigarettes could have been spent to buy more of his family’s necessities.
Fifth, the probable effect on his health brought about by smoking like lung cancer, emphysema, etc.
Sixth, the effect on his family and family’s finances when his health fails, unable to drive anymore.
You may think that these things that the taxi drive has foregone for taking that cigarette break are extreme or OA, but you have to think about it, these are very true. Sometimes, we just take into consideration those that we can actually count or measure explicitly, but we also have to think of the implicit costs, those that we have incurred just because we chose one option.
So, the next time a cab passes and does not give you a ride, he is foregoing more benefits than if he gave you a ride. It’s his loss, not yours. Just be thankful that those costs are not burdened on you, despite being late for work or for an appointment. Silently cursing on the driver also helps ease the frustration (since it’s unlawful already to curse in Baguio), and never get tired of waving until the right cab stops and gives you a ride.