Life Life

14/12/2021 - 07:31

Tech-cyclo, why not?

There is no need to explain at length; now that almost everyone knows what Grab services is.

Cyclos carrying tourists back from Thien Mu Pagoda (taken before the outbreak of COVID-19)

Penetrating the Vietnamese market from the beginning of 2014, Grab has quickly spread and been accepted by consumers because of its convenience, safety, user-friendliness, and especially low price.

From Grabcar (car), Grabbike (2-wheeler), this service has also developed to Grabtaxi, Grabfood (food/beverages delivery), Grabhour (booking for hourly charge), etc.

In Hue, Grab appeared rather late, and its services (especially in the transportation segment) were also less abundant, mainly 2-wheelers and cars. Even with Grabcar, it is not a “pure” car running Grab, but sometimes combined with the taxi service, which means the same car running two services at the same time. When the taxi operator calls, the car takes the role of a taxi, and vice versa (that's what I heard from the drivers, but honestly, I haven't researched carefully to see if it's exactly so).

According to the taxi drivers, this is because the area of Hue is too small, so the market is not strong enough. Therefore, it is difficult for Grabcar to develop. That’s why they need do two services at the same time to survive.

Cyclos in Hue Festival leaving an interesting impression for tourists and the public (taken before the outbreak of COVID-19)

Indeed, the area of Hue is small (in the "category" of the core area which is densely populated and creates the highest demand for movements from one place to another), not implying that the area of ​​the city after the boundary expansion is small. Because of this, customers in need often run to the street to hail a motorbike taxi or order a 4- or 7-seat taxi to save time.

Only those who have leisure time, or need to go a little far away, or are very economical are likely to sit down and make a Grab order. Therefore, when I go out to the street, I see that Grabbikers are often busy with food and beverages delivery, in addition to carrying passengers; these help them maintain their businesses.

My friends, my relatives and I have trouble for so many times when going to parties, weddings, or drinking beer. The distance from our houses to the venue is not so far, but it's not close either. Therefore, it's a bit tedious for us to walk, but to go by car sometimes is not a choice.

It is somewhat rude to hail a taxi just for traveling less than a block; but if you negotiate to pay some extra money, you may get scolded when encountering a driver with high self-esteem. How about making a Grab order? Will anyone come when the distance is too short, and the fee is too low? Also, running to the street and hailing a motorbike taxi sometimes don’t guarantee success.

At such times, having carried by a cyclo would be the best. With the cool breeze and bright moon, the rider is not too tired since the distance is average, and the customer can pay a reasonable price. However, cyclos are not available everywhere so that you can come out at any time to call one.

Suddenly, I wonder what would happen if there were Grab cyclos? It might be interesting, but maybe it's just an assumption just for fun. This is because the giant Grab service rarely looks at such a small "space" for a bit of effort.

All of a sudden, the thought that springs to my mind is that Hue cyclos have a long-standing and “luxury” brand name. It is not a joke, but already being brought into many stories and movies. I don’t know about the cyclos elsewhere, but in Hue, the "space" for cyclos is probably quite good. Grab may not really care, but Hue is in the "top" of the 4.0 localities in the country. On the digital platforms of the province such as Hue-S, it would be really good if a technology section for cyclo service is included there.

Especially when the pedestrian street around the Imperial Citadel is opened, and the pandemic is pushed back, the "Western Street" will be bustling again, and Hue’s tech cyclo riders will not be unemployed, whereas tourists and the public will also be satisfied. Again, tech-cyclo will help create more jobs for Hue cyclo riders to increase their income, thereby stabilizing and improving their lives.

If there are Grab cars, Grab bikes, etc., it is no doubt that tech people in Hue can create tech "cyclos". Even though it may sound like a dream, I still can't stop believing that if there is (someone’s) interest and concern, that dream will surely come true.

Story and photos: DIEN THONG