Since last week, social media had been abuzz over the issue of Grab Car fares, which is said to have been increased drastically especially during peak hours. Of course, this has in turn sparked discontent from frequent users of the e-hailing service.
In response, Grab Malaysia came up with a statement to shed some light on the situation. According to the company, the sudden price fluctuations is due to shortage of drivers on the road to meet the the “sharp increase” in ride demand from passengers. They also explained that as of mid-May this year, the number of driver-partners on its platform was still less than 70% of what it was pre-pandemic.
“We need to make it clear that we have not made any changes to our fare structure. Grab adopts a dynamic pricing model to ensure our passengers get a ride when they need, and our driver-partners are compensated fairly for their time and effort. When there are more people booking a ride than the number of drivers available in an area, fares will ‘surge’ or go up to encourage more drivers to head to where passengers are,” they explained in the statement.
Grab also said that there had been several factors that lead to fluctuations in supply and demand. Among these include the fact that more and more drivers have become inactive over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, it’s understood that the recent liftings of various restrictions has contributed to a rapid rise in bookings, which has gained further traction during the recent festive season. Not to mention, there is a slower response time for new drivers to be onboarded to meet the sharp increase in demand. This is apparently due to the need to meet various regulatory requirement.
Grab then said, “Finally, we have observed a large increase in traffic congestion. This increases the cost (in time and fuel) to serve each ride, while simultaneously reducing the effective capacity of drivers to serve more rides. While we strive to bring more driver-partners on board, there is a mismatch as the increase in demand for rides is outpacing the growth in the number of drivers.”
“In the long term, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing affordable rides for our community. However, in the short term, we will endeavour to meet all demand,” they added in the press statement. In addition, the company also said that they have recently implemented a number of measures to increase the number of drivers to meet the demand of ride-hailing users.
As per reports, among the steps taken by them include increasing the incentives for the drivers to get back on the road during peak hours, providing subsidies up to 100% of total driver-partner regulatory compliance costs. Not only that, Grab is also offering referral bonuses up to RM300 to existing driver-partners to refer and help onboard new driver-partners.
At the same time, Grab also suggested the passengers to plan their trips in advance, apart from booking their rides earlier than usual.
Sources: BERNAMA, The Edge Markets.
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