Grab has announced that a trial version of GrabShare will be rolled out next week, during the festive Chinese New Year period.
Called GrabShare BETA, the new version of the carpooling service will be available at select locations from January 16 to 29, from 5pm to 11pm. The locations that GrabShare will serve include Outram, River Valley, Marina Bay, Buona Vista, Downtown Core, Singapore River, and One-North.
These locations were selected as they had high demand during peak periods, and the trial period was specifically chosen by Grab as it expects its drivers to be taking breaks over the holiday. As such, GrabShare BETA will help to keep rides available for passengers.
GrabShare used to be a part of Grab’s ride offerings in Singapore, before it was suspended in 2020 due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic. After almost a three-year hiatus, GrabShare BETA might mark a return of the carpooling service for Grab users.
An all-new GrabShare
According to Grab, it has made some modifications to the service, including limiting the amount of passengers within each booking and how many each driver can pick up. For the trial, only cashless payments will be accepted.
Previously, customers could request rides for up to two passengers. GrabShare faced a host of issues, including when drivers were assigned additional passengers while already en route to their destinations. This would mean a detour and longer journey times for passengers.
There were also complaints from drivers when passengers booked a GrabShare ride for two passengers, only for one passenger to show up, since this would deprive them of the opportunity to pick up an additional passenger.
For the upcoming trial, customers can only request rides for one person, and drivers are only allowed to take a maximum of two bookings per ride. Customers who show up to a ride with two passengers will be rejected and asked to book a JustGrab ride instead.
Additionally, customers can no longer opt to cancel the ride once they have been assigned a driver. Those who do so will have to pay a S$4 cancellation fee, which will fully go to the driver.
Customers who book a GrabShare ride can expect to save up to 20 per cent on their ride.
Additionally, Grab has also set up strict perimeters to ensure that shared rides will not greatly exceed the direct trip time for each passenger. A ride will only be confirmed after two passengers headed in similar directions are matched. Once matched, the route will be fixed, and no new passengers will be accepted.
“This removes the surprise of any unexpected pick-ups and ensures passengers and drivers alike have better clarity on the route and expected arrival time,” said Grab.
Grab has also trialled GrabShare BETA in the Philippines in November last year. During that trial, customers were only able to book GrabShare rides from the Central Business District of Makati, during the rush hours of 4pm to 8pm. GrabShare was formally re-introduced into the market yesterday in the Philippines.
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