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Grab bares ‘Holiday Rush’ mobility strategy in Phl; onboards 4,000 GrabCar driver-partners

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Like it or not, when the BER months hit the calendar, the harbinger of merriment of the Christmas countdown begins, and there’s no stopping it. That phenomenon is patented only to the Philippines and many diplomats and expatriates in the country have been dealing with it, that the Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world!

There is an obvious corollary to this, the demand for mobility increases because people in the Philippines start to complete their Christmas shopping list for their loved ones as this holiday season is the time for togetherness and gift-giving. This demand doubles according to Ronald Roda, the Chief Operating Officer of Grab Philippines.

Cognizant of this situation, Grab Philippines activated an additional 4,000 GrabCar driver-partners in a recent Grand Onboarding event to help improve service reliability amid the holiday rush.

Speaking to the media, Grab bared this development to ensure that all their clients can expect safe and reliable mobility as holiday demand emerges. This is consequent to Grab’s proactive implementation of a range of mobility solutions aimed at optimizing fleet utilization – guaranteeing that every GrabCar on the road is maximized.

Historically, Grab consistently observes a notable increase in demand for its mobility services during the holiday season. GrabCar demand is expected to increase by at least 20% in December 2023, with a spike of up to +45% in the 2nd and 3rd week The spike in demand may serve as a challenge for supply allocation, which the superapp addresses through its vehicle maximization strategy.

“The experience of our passengers, consumers, and partners on Grab is our utmost priority,” underscores Roda. He emphasizes that Grab leverages its data, platform, and technology to understand and foresee the challenges faced by stakeholders. This enables Grab to take proactive steps in developing solutions that directly address these concerns. As a dependable partner to every Filipino, Grab is determined to ensure a worry-free holiday season for all. “Every Filipino should be able to partake in the long-lasting holiday festivities with the help and support of Grab’s mobility services,” adds Roda.

Maximizing the GrabCar Fleet

In its pursuit of platform reliability, Grab has activated an array of mobility solutions that optimize the utilization of its current GrabCar fleet. This strategic approach enhances platform reliability, tackling the demand-supply imbalance. Among these solutions is GrabShare. Relaunched in Q1 of 2023, this beloved carpooling service matches passengers headed in the same direction to share a singular vehicle. If unmatched, the passenger is then instead allocated a GrabCar but with a discounted fare made possible by the GrabShare Match Guarantee offer. GrabShare is currently available in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.

Passengers from the airport, particularly Overseas Filipino Workers coming home to celebrate the holidays in the Philippines, can also expect a reliable GrabCar booking experience via the GrabAirport feature. In response to the shortage of safe, dependable, and transparent transportation in the airports, Grab worked with airport authorities and the LTFRB in developing GrabAirport – an on-demand ride-hailing service supported by a dedicated Grab fleet for airport pick-ups and drop-offs.

In order to cater to time-constrained passengers who require prompt allocation of vehicles, Grab is introducing Multi-Taxi Type (MTT) booking. By enabling the platform to search for vehicle allocation from a range of Grab’s mobility options such as GrabCar Four-Seater, GrabCar Six-Seater, and GrabTaxi, MTT bookings may significantly reduce allocation time by 20 to 30% as shown during the pilot runs of the feature. This enhancement ensures a more reliable and efficient booking experience for passengers, especially those who are in a hurry.

Grab works closely with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in growing the current driver pool – an integral factor in achieving equilibrium between demand and supply on the platform. This year, following the opening of new slots by LTFRB, Grab was able to grow its fleet by 40%. In time for the Christmas rush, Grab continues to onboard drivers who were able to secure a slot from the most recent pool of 10,200 TNVS franchises issued by LTFRB last August. 4,000 new driver-partners have been activated from this pool thus far. While we grow our driver pool to the pre-pandemic number, we are taking proactive steps to ensure a well-balanced platform that delivers on its promise of safety, reliability and convenience even amid seasonal changes in the market landscape,” Roda notes.

Offering an Alternative Mobility Option

MOVE IT General Manager Wayne Jacinto

Homegrown two-wheel ride-hailing company MOVE IT, with its strategic partnership with Grab, is also well-positioned to help address the demand of holiday commuters for safe, efficient, and honest transportation.

As the third player in the motorcycle taxi pilot study, MOVE IT aligns itself with the government’s prioritization of safety and fairness within the MC Taxi industry, particularly during high-traffic periods like the holiday season. MOVE IT reiterates that its fleet of well-trained professional rider-partners is capable of offering above-par MC taxi services to commuters as it maintains a 99.999% road safety record. The lag- and crash-free MOVE IT app also touts a wide roster of safety features such as Share Your Ride, 24/7 Help Centre, Emergency Response, and Voice Over IP (VOIP) calling – exceeding the industry’s tech and service standards.

“This holiday season, our commuters can rely on Tropang MOVE IT for safe, convenient, and cost-effective rides. As a strategic partner of Grab, also deep-seated in our DNA is customer-centricity, pushing us to always deliver on our promise of honest and dependable transportation for every passenger,” shares MOVE IT General Manager Wayne Jacinto.

Another strategic approach to meeting demand is ensuring riders are productive on the road. With its Back-to-Back Booking feature, the MOVE IT Driver App allows rider-partners to accept a new booking even as they accomplish an ongoing one. This technology maximizes the online hours of riders, who currently can accomplish up to four rides per hour.

Effectively catering to the increasing demand, MOVE IT continuously grows its fleet in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Cagayan de Oro while adhering to the slots allocated for each player. MOVE IT also constantly engages with its rider-partners in various knowledge-sharing and capacity-building programs on road safety and passenger handling, such as webinars and content on the MOVE IT Academy.

Grab and MOVE IT support your reliable and safe mobility this Holday Rush and beyond

From left, Ronald Roda, Chief Operating Officer of Grab Philippines and MOVE IT General Manager Wayne Jacinto

Regardless of the choice of mobility, both Grab Philippines and MOVE IT MC Taxi assure everyone that they are here to provide not just a reliable mobility service, but more over a safe one for you to enjoy your much holiday celebration with your loved ones.

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