Before the SM City was built, San Pablo City is a small town with lots of small stores and malls. Having a mall that will provide an easy access to all things that we need sans going to the Metro would have made it a perfect place to live. You see, San Pablo is a peaceful city. Not a zero crime zone but still peaceful enough to raise kids and stay during weekends. The only issue that keeps people from staying here for good is the transportation within the city.
|photo from here|
An honest tricycle driver would charge you P20-25 if you are going to the subdivisions from the bayan or vice versa. We have some suki that we trust and they are always happy to have us as passengers because we are their regular clients. They charge us P25 when we give them larger bills and when I have exact money with me, I give them P30, the P5 is a tip.
With the SM City around, we were pretty excited to do some shopping. The only issue that keeps us on patronizing the other supermarket, PureGold, is that the they have a better public transportation terminal than SM. And the fact that it is very far from the main business district of the city.
Here are the things that customers should know:
1. If you are coming from the bayan area, tricycle driver will charge you P20 to bring you to SM. You can take the jeepney (SM-Bayan route) and pay for the regular fare of P8.
2. There are two atms at SM (currently): BDO and Chinabank. The Chinabank can be found found near the escalator. Both charges P10 per transaction for other bank's atm.
3. They have terminal on the right side of their building (if you are facing the main entrance). You can choose between jeepney ride and tricycle ride. If you choose the tricycle, you will not know how much they will charge you when you get to your destination. As far as legal fare is concern, they will have to charge you P25 for special trip plus an additional amount per additional kilometer. If they are honest workers and follow this, they will not be asking you for more than P50.
4. Just to give you an idea of how much a P30 will get you: if you ride a jeepney from San Pablo to UP LosBanos, you will pay P30. That far. Compare that to P30 from bayan to your respective subdivision..
5. Puregold sometimes offer free rides to bayan from their store.
6. To be fair with SM, SM Bicutan and other SM stores offers free rides as well.
|photos from here|
My issue here is not about whether SM gives their customers a free ride or not. I was charged P60 from SM to our home. The P60 is already a round trip fare for someone going to UP Los Banos and back. It means passing through several towns like Bae (or Bay), Calaun, Wawa (not sure if I missed other towns). It would also mean a roundtrip fare from San Pablo to Sto. Tomas Palengke via aircon bus that offers a free wi-fi!
I have the money to pay for my fare from San Pablo to Manila everyday, and what pisses me off is that the driver of that tricycle swindled me by overcharging and he reasoned that the SM management is charging them at the terminal! Is it true? I think, the management should regulate the fare from the terminal, just like how they do it with the taxis on metro manila.
I encourage you to buy somewhere else if you do not have any means of transportation to bring home your groceries because those swindlers of a driver at the SM terminal will probably overcharge you.
I already emailed SM about it and hopefully they will do something. If not, I will encourage others to boycott their services because according to the swindler/driver, it was the SM terminal that is burdening them with payment hence they have to overcharge us. At the back of my mind, I know that that as*h*le of a driver is lying at the skin of his teeth but still, SM have to do something to stop these swindlers.
About the driver, karma is just around the corner. Let's hope his swindling days will be over soon.