The year 2018 is coming to an end. It has been a year of many changes. Uber abandon ship and the entire private-hire driver population were ‘forced’ to jump ship to Grab.
Our new master Grab had promised drivers that they will improve and make driver’s lives better.
Let’s review the 10 Better changes Grab has done for their driver partners in Singapore.
Improve Driver’s Earnings
Driver Partner’s earnings is always a top concern. Times are not like before, these days no driver can claim to make $25-$26 thousand dollars a month.
We review the Top 5 changes introduced to improve driver’s earnings.
Far Pick-Up Bonus
Problem – Getting a far distance pick-up, sometimes the distance to the pick-up point can be longer than the actual trip distance.
Solution – Grab introduced a far pick-up bonus of $3 for pick-up distance of more than 3km. The condition to qualify for the $3 Far Pick-up Bonus is Driver must be on Auto Accept and the job must be completed to be eligible.
Verdict – Got $3 to cover petrol cost better than nothing. Even Uber did not have it.
Problem – Cancellation is one major issue that Driver hates about Grab. Previously, the driver gets penalized for cancelling when the rider no-show or show up with a child below 1.35M without a child seat. Their weekly Cancellation Rating (CR) and incentives suffer when they are forced to cancel on their end.
Solution – The Improved Cancellation feature seeks to address the issue by allowing Drivers to cancel up to 6 times a week without affecting AR. There are 5 valid reasons for drivers to choose from that will not affect their Cancellation Rating (CR). Drivers also get compensated a fee of $4 for a valid cancellation.
Verdict – Changes to the Cancellation policy is good. At least now drivers don’t have to waste time negotiating with the rider to cancel. However, 6 times per week might be insufficient if you are having a really bad luck week. An increase of up to 10 times a week would be better.
Emerald Circle Program
Problem – The ‘Pioneer Generation’ Drivers do not feel appreciated for their contribution towards Grab’s Growth. They feel that why should new drivers be entitled to rewards and benefits than them.
Solution – The Emerald Circle Program classify drivers into 4 categories. The more trips and points you accumulate, the higher the tier you are in and of course the greater the rewards.
Drivers in the higher Sapphire and Diamond tiers enjoy special privileges that drivers in the lower tier are not entitled to such as off-day subsidy and priority job allocation. Sapphire and Diamond tier drivers are also guaranteed a significantly higher amount in the earnings guarantee program.
Verdict– The rewards for Sapphire and Diamond are attractive. However, the problem with many ‘lao jiao’ drivers is that they can achieve sufficient trips but do not meet the qualifying AR and CR requirements as they like to pick and choose.
People who are driving full-time should work towards achieving the higher tiers of Emerald Circle as the rewards and incentives is a big jump from the lower tier rewards.
The new GrabShare
Problem – The old GrabShare only allows up to 2 matches per trip. 1 trip can complete a maximum of only 2 trip count. Earnings per trip can be very minimal if there is no match.
Solution – The new GrabShare allows the driver to pick up to 3 riders on a single trip. If there is no match, Grab will refund 100% of the commission for the completed trip provided the Driver is on auto-accept. Drivers who are chionging for incentives and weekly trips target will love it as they can 1 stone kill 3
birdriders. Even though the fare is lower, they are not affected as there is an income guarantee they can fall back on.
Verdict – Good for those chionging to clock trips for income guarantee. Nightmare for cherry-pickers waiting for high-fare.
In Car advertising
Problem – Driver only earns money when they are driving and there is no other source of revenue.
Solution – In Car advertising to generate more source of revenue for drivers. Drivers can choose on-car advertising wraps or in-car advertising such as brochures, tablets or samples. Drivers can earn between $50-$200 per month, depending on the campaign.
Verdict – Everyone will confirm recognise you as a Grab Car with the decal but many driver-partners are already doing it. They are making extra money without lifting a finger. Why not?
Improve Driving Experience
Besides creating more opportunities for you to make more money, Grab also tried to improve your driving experience. Let’s see it is useful to the drivers.
6. Kerbside Emergency Hotline
Problem – You have an emergency and you are stuck waiting for Grab Hotline to get through.
Solution – Grab introduced an emergency support Kerbside hotline back in April 2018. This service is reserved for time-sensitive situations and abusers of the service will be fined a fee of $50 from driver’s cash wallet by the following Tuesday of the incident.
Verdict – Good to have for critical situations, this may save lives and in most cases, save you from getting into a heated argument with riders. Remember to save the number for emergency.
7. Change of Destination
Problem – Riders has a change of mind and wants to head towards a different destination but they cannot do it on their app. The driver has to manually recalculate the additional distance from the original drop-off point to the new drop-off point and charge the rider accordingly.
Solution – The introduction of Change of Destination feature solves a longstanding problem. The new feature allows riders to change their destination in the app. The fare is automatically recalculated and a change of destination charge is imposed on the rider.
Verdict – It is a basic, must-have feature. We wondered why it took so long for this to be introduced.
8. My Destination
Problem – Driver wants to end shift and head towards home but staying online to wait for suitable calls is not an option. Driver’s Acceptance Rating (AR) will be affected and will be timed-out of the system if successive calls are ignored.
Solution – My Destination feature helps the driver to get matched with trips on the way to their desired destination. Although my destination trip does not count towards weekly trip count and incentives, it helps drivers make some money while heading towards their destination.
Verdict – A personal favourite. It helps to earn some money while on the way home and also to help improve weekly Acceptance Ratings and Cancellation Ratings.
9. Instant Cash-Out
Problem – Drivers had cash-flow issues as they were not able to cash-out their earnings instantly. Cash-flow is essential in the private-hire trade as drivers need to pay for running costs like rental, petrol, ERPs and maintain a cash float for cash trips.
Solution – The instant cash-out feature was launched in February 2018. It allowed drivers to cash out their payment instantly to their bank account up to 2 times a day.
Verdict – Grab is the first to introduce instant cash-out and currently it is only the only ride-hailing company in Singapore that offers instant cash-out. You have to give it to Grab for setting the benchmark for instant cash-out. Now all the other competitors have to play catch-up to meet the standards set.
10. Grab Map
Problem – Toggling between Google Map/ Waze and the Grab Driver App. It can be very distracting and dangerous especially when it is a back-to-back call.
Solution – The in-built Grab map can help you stay focus on the road and not on your phone.
Verdict – The inbuilt map would be good for drivers who are not good at multi-tasking. Drivers who are on Waze and Google Map feedbacks that Grab Map still needs to be further refined to be on par with Waze and Google Map.