Cab rider’s sen­ti­ments

Sun.Star Baguio - - Opinion -

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.

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