Grab to invest US$7mil in Singapore for GrabCar
By Digital News Asia March 10, 2017
- Assist drivers with PDVL application and cover charges for related fees and medical screening
- Co-contribute to drivers’ MediSave
COMPLEMENTING the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) regulation with the Private Hire Car Driver Vocational License (PDVL) framework, Grab, a ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, on March 9 announced a new S$10 million (US$7.04 million) investment in the GrabCar private hire car segment for Singapore.
This investment covers the end-to-end support for new and existing GrabCar drivers including: 1) supporting drivers in obtaining their PDVL, including all related fees; 2) building a community of new and experienced drivers; 3) co-contributing to drivers’ MediSave; and 4) strengthening Grab’s technology and operations to ensure it is compliant with requirements under the new Road Traffic Act.
“Grab has piloted and launched three new services in Singapore since last December with GrabShare, GrabCoach and GrabShuttle. While we are seeing good uptake and demand for mobility options to move bigger groups of people together, local passenger demand for direct, on-demand car services continue to expand.
“We are making this S$10 million investment to assist and train our GrabCar drivers. We believe the focus Grab places in helping our drivers succeed in earning a sustainable income and have peace of mind with better care for their medical needs will make driving a long term sustainable option for more in Singapore,” said Grab Singapore head Lim Kell Jay (pic below).
GrabCar for PDVL
To assist GrabCar drivers in obtaining PDVL licenses quickly and seamlessly, Grab is helping to defray all PDVL-related charges including the PDVL application fee, medical checkups, as well as training and test fees.
Grab will actively support and assist its drivers throughout every step of the process, once PDVL applications open on March 13.
Grab’s online PDVL application portal will facilitate the application process, and Grab will share regular updates with drivers and notify them of their application status.
Be a Road Star with Grab
Recognising that many new drivers require time and more support to learn how to achieve a sustainable income, the Road Stars programme aims to rapidly build a driver support network for the longer term.
Road Stars pairs up to two experienced drivers with new drivers in teams of five to earn S$2 million in prizes. As part of the pilot, a month-long team registration is now open with the driver games commencing for four weeks from April 10.
The main programme is based on points awarded for completed GrabCar and GrabShare rides for a prize money of S$50,000 with a series of mini games for drivers to earn additional points and immediate cash prizes.
Throughout Road Stars, drivers will be encouraged to improve their service quality for a more pleasant ride experience for commuters. The top team stands to win a prize money of S$50,000 to be awarded in May.
Providing further context on Road Stars, Lim added, “We are experimenting with a new approach to gamify the driver experience to help onboard and build a closely-knit Grab community of drivers. Driving need not be a lonely experience.
“Road Stars helps to bring new and experienced drivers together and share the best ways to earn higher incomes and better serve passengers consistently. Grab hopes to improve and replicate this driver programme in more of our cities if successful.”
This programme runs alongside Grab’s Driver Sustainability Programme to reduce drivers’ operating costs with benefits such as exclusive fuel discounts available with Shell and subsidised mobile subscription charges.
Providing MediSave to GrabCar drivers
The GrabCar Driver Programme aims to encourage its driver-partners to regularly contribute to their MediSave and plan for their future.
The first ride-hailing company to participate in the MediSave scheme for private hire car drivers, Grab will contribute to GrabCar drivers’ future medical needs and support their well-being.
The GrabCar MediSave Programme matches a percentage of a driver’s earned incentives, subject to a driver’s own contribution to the individual’s MediSave account and a maximum monthly cap of S$200.
This is open to all GrabCar drivers who are exclusive to the Grab platform.
Grab’s operational readiness
As part of Grab’s preparations to be operational ready for PDVL and to address amendments to the Road Traffic Act, a number of new measures and enhancements are being introduced:
Security within the Grab Driver App: Grab drivers will be required to verify their profiles whenever the Grab Driver App is launched using biometric or facial recognition later this year. This ensures that only licensed GrabCar drivers are able to accept passenger bookings.
Automated Reminders: Grab’s driver systems will be updated for sending auto-notifications to drivers whose PDVL and commercial insurance policies are nearing expiry. This gives them ample time to renew their policies. Grab is also working with fleet partners to ensure driver vehicle information is updated at all times.