Monday, May 27, 2024

As gov’t opens new TNVS slots, Grab PH sees light amid transport woes

Despite the shortage of drivers on the road, the local office of ride-hailing app Grab is optimistic that the outcry against the country’s transport situation will ease with the government’s announcement that it is opening 4,433 slots for driver-partners.

“This is a much welcome development for many passengers in the immediate term, and if we are to make mobility work for our commuters in the long term, there needs to be a proactive, data-driven planning and forecasting of driver supply to ensure that at any given time, passengers are able to book a ride whenever they need to,” said Grab Philippines senior director for operations Ronald Roda.

“Every Filipino deserves safe, reliable, and more accessible means of transportation, and we are fully committed to making this possible with the support of our regulators and government partners,” Roda added.

Commuter woes on the long-standing transport crisis were amplified across various platforms when demand for mobility peaked during the holidays.

With Grab still grappling with the shortage in the number of driver-partners on the road since the economy reopened, 1 out of 2 passengers was able to book a GrabCar during the holidays of 2023.

Roda added that the issue of supply during the holidays has put a strain on GrabCar drivers who had to be online for at least 7 hours per day — with more than 90 percent of them driving for the majority of the week, just to serve the increased demand during the holidays.

Additionally, with more passengers preferring transport network vehicle services (TNVS), some resorted to unorthodox means such as booking via parcel delivery or dating apps vis-a-vis the lack of available rides.

“We deeply empathize with every passenger and driver-partner who was frustrated and inconvenienced during the last holiday season. We do not always get it right, but rest assured that we will do more to make every commuter’s mobility experience much better, and prevent these inconveniences from happening again,” said Roda.

“Improving our state of mobility requires a long-term, whole-of-nation approach – with the government, the transport players, and the transport communities putting differences aside, and working together to serve the interest and welfare of the commuters and the drivers,” added Roda.

Helping solve the ongoing transport challenges, according to Roda, is one of the priorities of the company this year as it prepares to serve more passengers as the economy further reopens this 2023.

Notwithstanding the ongoing shortage of drivers, Grab said continues to make every possible effort to support passengers and existing drivers while remaining compliant with the fare matrix of the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board).

The company said among its key efforts include the Multi-Stop Ride and GrabShare:

  • Multi-stop Ride — a feature available on the Grab app since its inception, enables two different passengers coming from the same pick-up location to share two individual rides in a single booking. In contrast to two (2) passengers taking separate GrabcCar rides, Multistop rides is much cheaper per passenger, more efficient, and are able to maximize the limited number of drivers on the road.
  • GrabShare is another feature that Grab is re-introducing to the market. This ride-sharing product allows passengers to share their rides with other passengers at much affordable fares. Similar to Multi-Stop Rides, GrabShare helps maximize the limited number of cars on the road while helping serve the high passenger booking demands on Grab’s transport business.

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