GEORGE TOWN, Oct 5 – Ride-hailing service Grab officially launched its first driver centre in the northern region at the Promenade in Bayan Baru. Grab Malaysia Country Head Sean Goh, said the centre will be a support centre dedicated to catering to the needs and enquiries of current and potential Grab drivers.
He said some of the key services provided by the centre are ongoing queries, drivers registration, screening, and also training. Grab currently offers services in 126 cities across Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. In the meanwhile, ride-hailing company Grab has also invited a group of taxi drivers who demanded a share in bookings and trips to sign up with it under a new programme.
Goh said under the “JustGrab” plan, taxi drivers would be treated like normal Grab drivers and be able to increase their income. This came after a loose coalition of taxi driver groups said they would protest against Grab and Uber tomorrow for robbing them of their customers and creating an unfair monopoly of rides.
He said those waiting for a ride will get to access a larger pool of Grab vehicles with taxis included, which translates to a shorter waiting time. He said tares are also fixed and displayed upfront. He said the passengers will pay only what is displayed, excluding tolls.
He said they want to help provide a level playing field for the taxi and transport industry in Malaysia. When asked about the planned protest, he said this is in line with the government’s call for cabbies to go digital and register as a ride-hailing service, so you earn more. He said 80% of the rides taken in Singapore today were through JustGrab, with a waiting time of less than three minutes.
He also said that taxi drivers on JustGrab are earning higher incomes, with a 25% increase in ride bookings. Therefore, he also added that the taxi drivers eligible for the plan would be subject to requirements similar to those of regular Grab drivers, such as newer cars. The opening was officiated by Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohd Rashid Hasnon. Also present were Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) group head of operations Zamri Mahmud and SPAD taxi division chief Wan Md Hazlin Agyl Wan Hassan. — PN