Grab PH grappling with driver shortage

Although Grab Philippines has been grappling with the shortage of driver-partners on the road since the economy reopened, 1 out of 2 passengers managed to book a GrabCar during the 2022 holidays, Senior Director for Operations Ronald Roda stated Monday, January 9.

To cope with the shortage, the ride-hailing platform maximized existing cars on the road via features such as GrabShare and Multi-Stop ride.

Demand for mobility peaked during the holidays, amplifying commuter woes on the long-standing transport crisis across various platforms, he noted.

GrabCar drivers had to be online for at least 7 hours per day with more than 90 percent of them driving for the majority of the week, just to serve the increased demand during the holidays.

With more passengers preferring transport network vehicle services (TNVS), some resorted to unorthodox means, such as booking via parcel-delivery or dating apps due to the lack of available rides.

“We empathize with every passenger and driver-partner who were frustrated and inconvenienced during the last holiday season," Roda acknowledged.

"We do not always get it right, but rest assured that we will do more to make every commuter’s mobility experience much better, and prevent these inconveniences from happening agan,” he promised.

“Improving our state of mobility requires a long-term, whole-of-nation approach – with the government, the transport players, and the transport communities putting differences aside, and working together to serve the interest and welfare of the commuters and the drivers,” says the Grab Senior Director for Operations.

As the economy reopens more this 2023, helping solve the ongoing transport challenges is one of the priorities of the company, Roda underscored.

Despite the ongoing shortage of drivers, Grab continues to support passengers and existing drivers while remaining compliant with the fare matrix of the LTFRB.

Among its key efforts include the Multi-Stop Ride and GrabShare.

The Multi-stop Ride feature, available on the Grab app since its inception, enables two different passengers coming from the same pick up location to share two individual rides in a single booking.

In contrast to two passengers taking separate GrabcCar rides, Multistop rides is much cheaper per passenger, more efficient, and is able to maximize the limited number of drivers on the road.

GrabShare is another feature that Grab is re-introducing to the market.

This ride-sharing product allows passengers to share their rides with other passengers at much affordable fares.

Similar to Multi-Stop Rides, GrabShare helps maximize the limited number of cars on the road while helping serve the high passenger booking demands on Grab’s transport business.

The government's opening of 4,433 TNVS slots is a "welcome development for many passengers in the immediate term", accordingvto Roda.

"If we are to make mobility work for our commuters in the long term, there needs to be a proactive, data-driven planning and forecasting of driver supply to ensure that at any given time, passengers are able to book a ride whenever they need to,” he noted.

“There is still hope for our state of transportation, and Grab remains deeply-committed to playing an active role in supporting the needs and safeguarding the wellbeing of our passengers and driver-partners,” Roda concluded.