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Is there Uber in the Phillipines? No, Uber is no longer available in the Philippines. The service ceased its operations in the country in 2018 after merging its Southeast Asian operations with Grab, a Singapore-based ridesharing company. This move was part of a larger strategic exit from the region, allowing Uber to focus on other global markets. Since then, Grab has taken over as the primary app-based ride-hailing service in the Philippines, offering a range of services from standard rides to premium options, much like Uber did.

Visiting the Philippines offers a vibrant array of cultural experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and bustling cities. Navigating the archipelago’s diverse modes of transportation is an adventure in itself, with options ranging from traditional jeepneys and tricycles to modern ride-hailing apps like Grab, which has filled the void left by Uber’s departure in 2018. Understanding the local transport landscape is crucial for any traveler looking to explore the Philippines efficiently and safely. This guide aims to provide comprehensive insights into getting around the Philippines, covering everything from app-based ride services to public transport, ensuring a smoother travel experience across this beautiful and dynamic country.

Is There Uber in the Philippines?

cartoon of man ordering a taxi, a large phone shows the different options for different taxis
Image by storyset on Freepik

Uber officially exited the Philippine market in 2018, marking a significant shift in the country’s ride-hailing landscape. This departure was the culmination of a strategic decision by Uber to consolidate its operations in Southeast Asia, resulting in a landmark deal where Uber sold its regional business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the latter. The move followed a period of intense competition between the two companies and came amid growing regulatory pressures from the Philippine government, particularly from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), which had raised concerns over pricing and driver accreditation.

The absence of Uber has left a notable gap in the Philippines’ transportation ecosystem, prompting both locals and visitors to adapt to alternative services. Grab has since become the dominant player in the market, expanding its services to include not just ride-hailing but also food delivery and digital payments, mirroring Uber’s diversified business model in other countries. The transition from Uber to Grab was smooth for many users, as the latter offered a similar app interface and range of services, from budget-friendly rides to more premium options. However, the monopoly situation has also led to discussions about pricing, service availability, and the need for more competition in the ride-hailing sector to benefit consumers.

The regulatory environment in the Philippines continues to evolve, with the LTFRB now more actively engaging in managing and overseeing ride-hailing services to ensure fair practices and to protect the interests of both riders and drivers. This includes setting fare ranges, ensuring driver and vehicle accreditation, and promoting a competitive market that could see the entry of new players in the future.

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Are There Other Ride-sharing Apps in the Philippines?

Carsharing service abstract concept vector illustration.
Image from FreePik

With Uber’s exit from the Philippines, the ride-hailing market saw a reshaping with Grab taking the lead. However, to meet the demand for more options and to encourage a competitive market, other ride-sharing apps have also emerged, offering various services to cater to different needs. Here’s an overview of alternative ride-sharing apps available in the Philippines, along with details on their services, fares, known issues, and where you can find more information or download the apps.


  • Services Offered: Grab remains the most comprehensive ride-hailing service in the Philippines, offering a wide range of services from GrabCar for private rides, GrabShare for shared rides, GrabTaxi for booking regular taxis through the app, to GrabPremium for more luxurious rides.
  • Fares: Fares vary depending on the service chosen, distance, and traffic conditions. For example, a typical GrabCar ride within Metro Manila might start at PHP 150 ($2.80 USD) for short distances. Prices can surge during peak hours or in bad weather.
  • Known Issues: Surge pricing during peak times and occasional complaints about ride cancellations.
  • Further Info and Download: Grab


  • Services Offered: Angkas is primarily a motorcycle ride-hailing service, offering a quicker alternative to four-wheeled vehicles, especially useful given the Philippines’ often congested traffic. It’s also expanded into delivery services.
  • Fares: Angkas fares are generally lower than car-based services, with a base fare plus a per kilometer rate. A typical ride might cost around PHP 60 ($1.12 USD) plus PHP 10 ($0.19 USD) per kilometer.
  • Known Issues: Limited to areas where motorcycle taxis are allowed to operate. Safety concerns have been raised, although Angkas provides safety gear and training for its drivers.
  • Further Info and Download: Angkas


  • Services Offered: Similar to Angkas, JoyRide offers motorcycle ride-hailing services and has also ventured into courier and delivery services.
  • Fares: JoyRide’s pricing structure is similar to Angkas, offering competitive rates for quick city travel.
  • Known Issues: As with Angkas, the main issues revolve around operational limitations and safety concerns.
  • Further Info and Download: JoyRide

Move It

  • Services Offered: Move It focuses on motorcycle taxi services, positioning itself as a major player alongside Angkas and JoyRide.
  • Fares: Competitive pricing with base fares and per kilometer charges akin to those of Angkas and JoyRide.
  • Known Issues: Similar operational and safety concerns as other motorcycle taxi services.
  • Further Info and Download: Move It

These alternatives to Uber in the Philippines offer a variety of services tailored to different needs and preferences, from economical motorcycle rides to more comfortable car services. Pricing can vary widely based on the service, time of day, and specific demand in certain areas. Users are encouraged to compare services and prices, especially during peak hours or inclement weather, when surge pricing may apply. Safety, reliability, and the range of services offered are important considerations when choosing a ride-hailing app.

Taxis in the Philippines

ride share taxi app with taxi with backdrop of a city
Image by Freepik

Taxis play a crucial role in the Philippines’ transportation network, offering a convenient option for both short and long-distance travel across cities and regions. They are especially prevalent in urban areas such as Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Here’s a detailed look at taxis in the Philippines, covering aspects from fares to safety.

Are Taxis Cheap in the Philippines?

Taxis in the Philippines are relatively affordable compared to many Western countries, making them a popular choice for travelers and locals alike. However, costs can vary depending on the city, the time of day, and traffic conditions.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in the Philippines?

  • Fare Structure: The fare starts with a flag down rate of PHP 40 ($0.75 USD), with an additional PHP 13.50 ($0.25 USD) charged for every kilometer thereafter. There may also be additional charges for waiting time.
  • Example Fare: A typical taxi ride from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Makati City might cost around PHP 200 to PHP 300 ($3.75 to $5.60 USD), depending on traffic conditions.

Do Taxis Accept Credit Cards in the Philippines?

The acceptance of credit cards in taxis varies. While some taxi companies and drivers do accept credit card payments, especially those booked via apps, it’s more common to pay with cash. It’s always best to confirm payment methods with the driver before starting your trip.

How Do I Catch a Taxi in the Philippines?

You can hail a taxi on the street in most urban areas, find them at designated taxi stands in malls and hotels, or book them through various app-based platforms like GrabTaxi, part of the Grab app. When hailing a taxi, it’s advisable to look for those that are metered and clearly marked with the taxi company’s name and contact information.

Are There Taxi Apps in the Philippines?

  • GrabTaxi: Within the Grab app, GrabTaxi allows users to book regular metered taxis. This service combines the convenience of app-based booking with the familiarity and regulation of traditional taxis.
  • Further Info and Download: Grab

Are Taxis Safe in the Philippines?

Taxis are generally safe in the Philippines, especially when booked through a reputable company or app. However, it’s always wise to take standard safety precautions, such as sharing your ride details with someone you trust and preferring taxis that are metered and well-marked.

Common Taxi Scams in the Philippines

While most taxi rides are without issue, some common scams include drivers taking longer routes, claiming the meter is broken and negotiating a flat rate that’s much higher than the metered fare, or not giving correct change. Using a taxi app where the fare is calculated by the app can help avoid these issues.

Being aware of potential scams can help you recognise them, these are some of the most common scams.

Potential Taxi Scams in the Philippines
  • Tampered Meters: Some taxis may have meters that run too fast. Insist on using the meter and be wary if it increases too rapidly.
  • Long-Hauling: Taking a longer route to increase the fare. Use a GPS app to monitor the route and suggest the most direct path.
  • Refusal to Use Meter: Drivers may offer a flat rate that is significantly higher than the metered fare. Always insist on using the meter; if the driver refuses, find another taxi.
  • Late Night Surcharge Scam: Claiming night fares are higher without any official surcharge. Verify night fare policies beforehand or use a ride-hailing app that doesn’t allow for arbitrary fare increases.
  • ‘No Change’: Drivers claim they can’t make change to keep the change for themselves. Always carry small bills and coins.
  • Airport and Tourist Area Premiums: Charging exorbitant rates from airports or tourist spots. Use official taxi stands or pre-booked transportation.
  • ‘Broken Meter’: Claiming the meter is broken to negotiate a higher flat rate. Refuse the ride and find another taxi with a working meter.
  • Switching Notes: The driver switches your larger bill for a smaller one, claiming you underpaid. Pay attention when handing over cash and verbally note the denomination you’re giving.
  • Distracting with Companions: Having an accomplice to distract you while overcharging or stealing belongings. Avoid taxis with additional passengers and keep your valuables secure.

Do I Need to Tip Taxi Drivers in the Philippines?

Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated for good service. A tip of PHP 20 to PHP 50 ($0.37 to $0.93 USD) is considered generous.

Taxis in the Philippines offer a reliable and affordable way to navigate the country’s cities and towns, with options available to suit various preferences and budgets. Whether opting for a traditional street-hailed cab or a taxi booked through an app, understanding the local norms and practices can enhance your travel experience.

Other Ways to Get Around the Philippines

Bus and bus driver at a bus stop

The Philippines offers a variety of unique and conventional transportation options, catering to the adventurous spirit of travelers and the practical needs of its residents. Here’s a rundown of the most common modes of transport across the archipelago.


  • How to Use: The iconic jeepneys operate on set routes, and passengers can hop on and off at any point. Payment is made directly to the driver.
  • Cost: Starting fare is about PHP 9 ($0.17 USD) for the first 4 kilometers, with incremental increases for further distances.
  • More Information: Jeepneys are a staple in major cities but lack a centralized online resource. For accurate information, ask locals or hotel staff for advice on routes and fares.


  • How to Use: These motorized tricycles are ideal for short trips within towns. Fares should be negotiated before the journey begins.
  • Cost: Fares start at around PHP 20 ($0.37 USD) for short rides.
  • More Information: Like jeepneys, tricycles are more informally operated. Local guidance is your best resource for navigating tricycle transport.


  • How to Use: Buses serve both city routes and longer distances between provinces. They range from basic non-air-conditioned to more comfortable air-conditioned coaches.
  • Cost: Long-distance fares vary; for example, Manila to Baguio costs between PHP 450 to PHP 750 ($8.40 to $14 USD).
  • More Information: For intercity travel, check out the Philtranco website for routes, schedules, and booking options.

Ferries and Bangkas

  • How to Use: For inter-island travel, ferries and smaller boats called bangkas are essential. Tickets are available at ports or through travel agents.
  • Cost: Costs vary; a ferry from Cebu to Bohol might be around PHP 500 ($9.30 USD).
  • More Information: Use Bookaway to search, compare, and book ferries between major islands.

Metro Rail and Light Rail Transit

  • How to Use: In Metro Manila, the LRT and MRT systems provide efficient routes across the city. Purchase tickets at stations.
  • Cost: Fares range from PHP 13 ($0.24 USD) to PHP 60 ($1.12 USD).
  • More Information: For schedules and station information, visit the Department of Transportation website or the specific transit lines’ pages: LRT and MRT-3.

Each mode of transport in the Philippines has its charm and challenges, offering a range of experiences from the utterly local to the comfortably tourist-friendly. Online resources are a great starting point, but local advice remains invaluable for the most current information and tips.

How Do I Get from the International Airport to the City Center?

Passengers with luggage in airport flat illustration
Image by pch.vector on Freepik

Navigating from the Philippines’ primary international gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila, to the city center can be managed through various transportation options. Here’s how you can make the journey to the city center from NAIA, including estimated costs and resources for more information.

Private Transfer

  • How to Use: Pre-book a private transfer online through various services or arrange for hotel pick-up.
  • Cost: Prices vary based on the service provider and type of vehicle, but expect to pay from PHP 1,000 ($18.75 USD) upwards for a private car to the city center.
  • More Information: TripAdvisor offers pre-booking services for private transfers.

Car Rental

  • How to Use: Several international and local car rental agencies operate from NAIA, offering a range of vehicles from economy cars to luxury SUVs. Rental counters can be found in the arrivals area of each terminal.
  • Cost: Daily rental rates vary widely depending on the vehicle type and rental duration but expect to start from approximately PHP 1,500 ($28 USD) per day for an economy car, excluding insurance and fuel costs.
  • More Information: It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

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  • How to Use: Use the Grab app to book a ride from the airport to your destination. Free WiFi is available at the airport to download and use the app if you haven’t already.
  • Cost: A GrabCar ride to the city center can cost between PHP 200 to PHP 400 ($3.75 to $7.50 USD), depending on traffic and the specific destination.
  • More Information and Download: Grab


  • How to Use: Metered taxis are available at designated taxi ranks outside the arrival areas of all NAIA terminals. Opt for the official, metered taxis to avoid being overcharged.
  • Cost: The fare to the city center typically ranges from PHP 300 to PHP 500 ($5.60 to $9.30 USD), depending on the distance and traffic conditions.
  • More Information: Always confirm that the taxi meter is on before starting your journey to ensure transparent pricing.

Airport Shuttle Bus

  • How to Use: The UBE Express is an airport bus service connecting NAIA to key points in Metro Manila, including major hotels and transport hubs.
  • Cost: Fares are around PHP 300 ($5.60 USD) per person to various destinations in the city.
  • More Information: Check the UBE Express website for routes, schedules, and booking options.

Public Transport

  • How to Use: Public buses and jeepneys that serve routes from the airport to various parts of the city are available, though they might require transfers and can be less convenient with heavy luggage.
  • Cost: Fares are minimal, starting at around PHP 20 ($0.37 USD) for a bus ride, but the convenience and comfort levels are significantly lower than other options.
  • More Information: Accurate and up-to-date Information on public transport options for your specific route from NAIA is best sought from Google Maps upon arrival.

Choosing the best mode of transport from NAIA to the city center depends on your priorities, be it cost, convenience, or speed. For a hassle-free experience, especially after a long flight, pre-booking a private transfer or using the Grab app may be the best options. However, for those on a tighter budget or seeking a more local experience, public transport provides an affordable, albeit less comfortable, alternative.

How to Travel Between Cities in the Region

Yellow speed boat with a woman sitting on the deck

Traveling between cities in the Philippines offers a variety of options, catering to different budgets, preferences, and time constraints. Here’s how you can navigate between the country’s many islands and cities.

Domestic Flights

  • How to Use: The Philippines has several domestic airlines, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia, offering flights between major cities and popular tourist destinations.
  • Cost: Fares vary widely depending on the route, booking time, and airline. Promotional fares can be as low as PHP 1,000 ($18.75 USD) one-way for short distances, while regular fares can range from PHP 2,000 to PHP 5,000 ($37.50 to $93.75 USD) for longer routes.
  • More Information: Booking platform Bookaway can be used to compare and book the cheapest and most convenient flights.


  • How to Use: For inter-island travel, ferries are a popular and scenic option. Major operators include 2GO Travel, Montenegro Lines, and SuperCat.
  • Cost: Fares depend on the distance and type of accommodation (economy, tourist, or business class). A ferry ride from Manila to Cebu, for example, might cost between PHP 1,500 to PHP 3,000 ($28 to $56 USD) for economy class.
  • More Information: More Information: Booking platform Bookaway can be used to compare and book the cheapest and most convenient ferries.


  • How to Use: Buses are a practical option for travel on the same island or to destinations accessible via land bridges. Major bus companies like Victory Liner, Philtranco, and Partas serve routes to various provinces.
  • Cost: Prices are competitive, with long-distance bus fares ranging from PHP 500 to PHP 1,000 ($9.30 to $18.75 USD) for air-conditioned coaches.
  • More Information: Booking platform Bookaway can be used to compare and book the cheapest and most convenient bus options.

Private Car

  • How to Use: Renting a car for inter-city travel offers flexibility to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Rental services are available in major cities and airports.
  • Cost: Daily rental rates start from around PHP 1,500 ($28 USD) for an economy vehicle, not including fuel and toll fees.
  • More Information: DiscoverCars allows you to search and compare rental car deals and save up to 70% off.

Ridesharing and Taxis

  • How to Use: For shorter inter-city trips or to reach transportation hubs, ridesharing apps and taxis are convenient choices.
  • Cost: Fares depend on distance and app pricing algorithms. For example, a GrabCar ride from Manila to nearby cities like Tagaytay might range from PHP 2,000 to PHP 3,500 ($37.50 to $65.60 USD).
  • More Information: The Grab app can estimate fares and book rides directly.

Each transportation option offers its advantages, whether it’s the scenic routes of ferry travel, the speed of domestic flights, or the flexibility of driving. Planning ahead and booking in advance, particularly for flights and ferries, can help secure the best rates and ensure a smoother travel experience across the Philippines’ diverse landscapes.

Is There Uber Eats in the Philippines?

Uber Eats, Uber’s food delivery service, followed a similar fate as the ride-hailing service, in that it does not operate in the Philippines. The exit of Uber from the Philippines in 2018 meant that its subsidiary services, including Uber Eats, never got a foothold in the country. However, the demand for food delivery services remains high, and several other companies have stepped in to fill the gap, offering a wide range of options for food delivery across various cities.

Alternative Food Delivery Services in the Philippines

  • GrabFood: Following the model of its parent app, GrabFood is the most direct alternative to Uber Eats in the Philippines. It offers a wide selection of restaurants and fast delivery times.
    • Further Info and Download: Grab
  • Foodpanda: Another popular food delivery service, Foodpanda offers a broad range of restaurant options and competitive delivery fees. It operates in many cities across the Philippines, making it a convenient choice for many users.

These services provide a comprehensive range of dining options, from local Filipino dishes to international cuisine, ensuring that there’s something to satisfy every palate. While Uber Eats is not present, the competition between these platforms benefits consumers through promotions, a wide variety of food choices, and expanded service areas.

Final Thoughts on Uber and Transportation in the Philippines

The absence of Uber in the Philippines has reshaped the transportation landscape, with Grab taking the lead in the ride-hailing market. Despite this, the variety of transportation options available—from traditional jeepneys and tricycles to modern ride-sharing apps and efficient public transit systems—ensures that getting around the Philippines remains an accessible and fascinating part of the travel experience. Each mode of transport offers a unique perspective on the country’s rich culture and scenic beauty, whether it’s the bustling streets of Metro Manila or the serene landscapes of the provinces.

For food delivery, the gap left by Uber Eats has been amply filled by services like GrabFood, Foodpanda, and LalaFood, which offer a wide range of dining options and the convenience of app-based ordering. The competitive food delivery market ensures that customers have access to a diverse array of food options and delivery services, making it easier than ever to enjoy a variety of meals from the comfort of home or a hotel room.

In summary, while Uber’s exit marked the end of an era, it also paved the way for new opportunities and innovations in the Philippines’ transportation and food delivery sectors. With a mix of traditional and modern, the country provides a comprehensive network of travel and dining services that cater to both locals and visitors, ensuring that the Philippines remains a vibrant and welcoming destination for all.

Whether exploring the archipelago’s sprawling urban centers or its idyllic rural landscapes, the Philippines offers a rich tapestry of experiences, easily navigable with the array of transport and food delivery options at your fingertips.


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