By Stephanie Roxas
As it marked its fifth year in the country, ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines said it wants to implement a multi-modal form of transportation to ease traffic in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila.
At its anniversary celebration at the Le Pavillion in Pasay City, Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu said in an interview that he is hoping to expand the Grab ride-hailing platform to include shuttles and buses.
?We want to do a multi-modal form of transportation to link all the different transport modes into one long seamless chain, as if you don?t feel it. That?s the way to solve the traffic. It?s routing, it?s pushing people to more efficient form of transport,? he said.
Cu also said Grab is investing heavily on technology innovations to ensure the safety of passengers as he disclosed that the company is currently doing telematics to study how a driver performs while on the road.
Through telematics, he said Grab can monitor the movements, choice of route, and driving behavior of its driver partners. ?It essentially gives us a glimpse of how drivers perform on the road,? Cu said.
As for the debacle that the company, along with Uber, faced with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB) with regard to accreditation of their driver partners, Cu said it is just a matter of explaining to the agency the peculiarities of the company?s business model.
?With the LTFRB, I think it is important that we have open communications. We want to share with them our plans to try to then make understand where we?re coming from,? Cu said.
He said Grab is also striving to lure more local taxi drivers in its platform. ?The problem is that they don?t have smartphones, so we have to come up with ways for them to have one,? Cu said.
Once it has secured the government?s pemission, Cu also revealed that Grab plans to increase its coverage areas and expand in cities like Davao, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo. Grab is available in 55 cities in seven Southeast Asian countries, which includes the Philippines.