Editorial update (30 Jun, 10:26pm): Grab has informed us that they are not launching their GrabBike service here.
Grab might just be rolling out its bike service in Singapore soon.
Yesterday, Twitter user Jason Scott uploaded an image a friend had sent to him. Pictured clearly is the green colour synonymous with Grab, only this time it’s on a bike.
The photo below was taken along Sin Ming Lane.
In less than a day, the post generated 985 retweets (at the point of writing) as social media immediately started debating the arrival of GrabBike.
A plausible reason as to why GrabBike could indeed be dropping by is Grab’s new street-hailing system.
During Grab’s 5th birthday event, CEO Anthony Tan revealed commuters would be able to street-hail GrabBikes in Jakarta by booking a ride with the rider, after they’ve flagged the vehicle down.
While they expressed bringing the same system to Singapore, private-hire cars are not allowed to pick up street-hail commuters.
But it seems the startup might have just solved that dilemma – by introducing the GrabBike system altogether.
Street-hailing would most certainly become easy, given the ostentatious green of the bikes.
Good Or Bad?
Understandably, the GrabBike comes with both pros and cons.
While it would provide ease of travel and enhanced mobility, riding pillion behind a stranger is not an idea everyone would relish.
Riding pillion would entail passengers having to be physically close to the rider, and let’s not forget how bikes lack any form of protection against the weather elements.
Riders might come equipped in wind-breakers or waterproof uniforms, but the average Singaporean’s clothing would not stand a chance.
Not to mention the general safety level of riding a bike as compared to a 4-wheeled vehicle, especially during the peak travel period, would be compromised.
Will It Come To Pass?
We reported on the arrival of Indonesia’s Go-Jek into Singapore, but were belatedly disappointed when it turned out to be just about a data science office.
But if Go-Jek had planned to break into the Singapore market, it would have had enough time to do so.
It would have been the only bike hailing service in the Little Red Dot, which could have been their competitive advantage.
Say they had tried to do it, what prevented them from following through?
And will Grab meet the same roadblocks while attempting ride their bikes into our country?
Seeing how all the picture shows is a few green bikes, an island-wide implementation might still be a little ways down the road.
But we shall wait and see.
Featured Image Credit: Jason Scott @dennelfiee Twitter