Grab users were left angry and confused when they were charged exorbitant prices to travel short distances on a Sunday morning due to surge charges.
Sunday mornings are typically fairly quiet and no one would consider it to be a peak time. No one except perhaps Grab.
26-year-old Grab user Joshua Tan was hoping to get a ride from Clark Quay to Bishan on Sunday morning but was shocked when the app said the ride would cost him $44 due to surge pricing.
Similarly, another user was charged $23 to travel the short distance from Choa Chu Kang to Bukit Panjang. This distance would have typically cost $10.
While users are upset, a reason for this could be the fact that the new Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) policy has officially come into play.
With this policy, the Land Transport Authorities (LTA), gave private hire drivers till 30 June to obtain their PDVL licences. If they did not, they would no longer be allowed to work as a private hire driver.
However, obtaining this license isn’t all that easy.
Applicants had to attend a course to get themselves familiar with the rules and regulations, service quality and general safety guidelines. They also had to prove their English proficiency levels in tests that involved listening, reading and speaking.
About a week ago, it was reported that about 23,000 drivers had yet to get their licences. There could be less Grab drivers on the road which is what is causing the surge.
Another possible reason for the surge is the acquisition of Uber by Grab. Without Uber to force them to price their fares competitively, Grab has been raising prices and reducing the number of promo codes given out.
Base fares for cabs has also increased from $5 to $6.
With these high prices, many people are going back to traditional taxies.
Taxies are not subject to dynamic pricing and their price surges only happen during fixed times of the day. This is unlike Grab which regulates its prices according to the demand and supply.
More Grab drivers are also switching to traditional taxies after losing many customers over the price surge.
What do you think? Would you still choose to stick by Grab if their prices remain high?
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