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Grab to raise base fares for most transport services by S$1 from June 1

SINGAPORE — From next Tuesday (June 1), ride-hailing firm Grab will raise its base fares for most of its transport services by S$1 at a time when vehicle operating costs are higher and ridership is plummeting.

A man walking past a Grab office in Singapore in March 2018.

A man walking past a Grab office in Singapore in March 2018.

  • The base fares of most of Grab’s transport services will go up by S$1 from June 1
  • The increase is permanent but will not apply to its standard taxi, GrabHitch and GrabCoach services
  • The money from the increased fare will go entirely to its drivers from June 1 to 30, after which Grab will take a cut of 20 per cent
  • Grab also unveiled other measures to cushion the impact of higher operating costs, falling ridership on its drivers

 

SINGAPORE — From next Tuesday (June 1), ride-hailing firm Grab will raise its base fares for most of its transport services by S$1 at a time when vehicle operating costs are higher and ridership is plummeting.

The S$1 increase will not apply to its standard taxi option, social ride-sharing service GrabHitch and chartered-bus and minivan offering GrabCoach.

Right now, the base fare for its fixed-fare service JustGrab and GrabCar private-hire car option is S$2.50, for example. By contrast, its main rival Gojek’s GoCar ride-hailing option charges a base fare of S$2.70. 

The S$1 increase will go entirely to Grab drivers from June 1 to 30, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. 

From July 1, Grab will take a 20 per cent cut — its standard commission rate — from the S$1 increase, which will be permanent.

Grab on Tuesday also announced other measures to cushion the impact of higher vehicle operating costs and falling ridership on its drivers, given the more stringent nationwide Covid-19 restrictions

These include more incentives for delivery assignments, and cash and rental rebates.

Grab said that during the height of the pandemic last year, ridership nosedived and has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. 

With the introduction of tighter rules from May 16 to June 13 to combat Covid-19 in what the Government calls Phase Two (heightened alert), ridership numbers have dropped again.

The firm added that the costs of operating and maintaining a vehicle — including for fuel, maintenance and repairs — have risen, while fares have stayed constant since 2017.

It said that the decision to raise base fares by S$1 came after “deep discussions” with its drivers, the Government and unions. These parties said that Grab’s transport fares have not kept pace with the rising costs borne by drivers. 

Grab said of the fare hike: “The revision aims to improve earnings for driver-partners, enabling them to continue providing safe and high-quality service for passengers in a financially viable manner for the longer term.”

To help passengers adjust to the new fare structure and continue travelling safely for essential needs, Grab said that it would offer S$1 vouchers for peak-hour rides from June 1 to 14.

These vouchers may be used between 7am and 9am and from 5pm to 7pm on weekdays, and between 11am and 6pm on weekends.

Last Friday, the Government announced that it had set aside an extra S$27 million to tide taxi and private-hire car drivers over this period of lower demand.

In all, 56,000 drivers — about 16,000 taxi drivers and 40,000 private-hire car drivers — will get an extra S$10 for each vehicle daily through the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund from May 16 to the end of June. 

In total, drivers will receive S$25 for every vehicle each day, up from the present S$15.

Transport Minister S Iswaran said that ridership of taxis and private-hire cars had fallen to about 55 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. 

It was at about 80 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels before the roll-out of tighter nationwide measures, which prohibit dining-in at food-and-beverage places, restrict gatherings to two persons, and make homeworking a default option.

There were other measures that Grab announced on Tuesday.

  • More incentives for delivery tasks 

    During this period, Grab’s drivers are encouraged to opt in to do deliveries for its food, grocery and parcel delivery services, to maximise their earning opportunities. Grab will provide them with more incentives if they complete delivery tasks in designated areas of high demand, such as the Central Business District 
     
  • Tiered cash rebates for transport and delivery assignments

    To provide its drivers with further financial help, they will be entitled to fixed-value rebates, based on the total number of transport and delivery assignments that they complete from 8am to 10pm.
     
  • Rental rebates 

    Its rental arm GrabRentals will offer weekly rental rebates of up to S$45, depending on eligible hirers’ present rental fees.

    Six of Grab’s recommended fleet partners have also committed to offering rental rebates for eligible hirers. They are Lion City Rentals; AutoExchange Leasing; KH Leasing; MS Carz Leasing; Prime Transport and Limousine Services; and Roset Limousine Services.
     
  • Maintaining present driver benefits

    Between now and September, Grab drivers’ tier and benefits under its driver rewards programme Emerald Circle will remain unchanged.

Mr Andrew Chan, managing director for transport at Grab Singapore, said that many of its drivers expressed concerns about the viability of their livelihoods as the volatile situation caused by the pandemic continues. 

“We trust that this holistic approach of lowering costs, increasing earning opportunities and enhancing their safety net will address the main challenges our driver-partners are facing right now and better protect them for the future.”

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