A week after launching its 100-day initiative plan to improve its service in Metro Manila, Grab Philippines has issued its official statement over the common observation that it is extremely difficult, if not almost impossible, to book a ride using its app these days.
In a blog entry posted on its website and its social media pages, the ride-hailing service provider explained that while it is continuously striving to improve its overall service, its daily operations are supposedly affected by the severe shortage in available drivers who are deployed on the roads.
“On average, the number of people who request for Grab cars in the metro has almost doubled to 600,000 booking every day,” the company’s statement read. “Unfortunately, the number of available drivers has decreased from 43,000 to just 35,000. This means that after the acquisition, there are 8,000 fewer cars every day to meet riders’ needs.”
Grab officially took over Uber’s local operations (as also the case in the rest of Southeast Asia) on April 15, a few weeks after its acquisition of the latter was announced. As early as March 26, Grab has been migrating Uber drivers into its own platform.
However, according to Grab, over 6,000 cars registered on Uber are yet to be transferred to Grab because they are missing from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) audited master list of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers. Consequently, those drivers can never go onboard Grab in adherence to the government agency’s regulatory policy. On the other hand, the other 2,000 former Uber drivers have decided not to go with Grab during this integration.
To resolve this crisis, Grab said it is currently working with regulators to finally allow those 6,000 displaced drivers to get into its platform. The company also claims to have started releasing incentives that are aimed at increasing productivity of its current drivers by at least 15% daily.
Grab is also advising its passengers to consider these recommended options for the meantime:
1. Book GrabShare to free up more cars for other passengers while also helping you save on costs.
2. Use the platform’s Multi-Stop feature so you won’t have to book another ride for the purpose.
3. Book earlier (or avoid booking during rush hours).
4. Try using other modes of available transportation (MRT/LRT, P2P and regular buses, and others).