JustGrab much better since launch, say drivers
Customers have shorter wait and drivers earn more with new app
He used to ply the roads for passengers, receiving only about 10 bookings on GrabTaxi per day.
Now, about a month after Grab launched JustGrab, Transcab taxi driver Kenn Lim is seeing a steady stream of bookings on the app, receiving more than 15 bookings per day on average.
JustGrab, which launched on March 29, combines about 50,000 fixed-fare taxis and private-hire cars on the same platform, hitting about 40 per cent of the taxi fleet here with a dynamic pricing option.
Dynamic pricing, or surge pricing, which adjusts fares based on demand, is used by ride-hailing apps Grab and Uber.
Mr Lim, 45, used to earn an average of about $4,000 to $5,000 a month after rental and petrol costs, including Grab incentives.
Now, he earns about $1,200 to $1,500 per week on average after deducting petrol and rental costs, roughly a 20 per cent hike.
His earnings include incentives averaging about $300, which he gets if he hits 50 bookings in a week.
The sole breadwinner, who has three school-going children, said: "The good thing about JustGrab is getting a constant flow of passengers. I don't have to drive around looking for passengers. I'm not choosy about my passengers. As long as I get rides, I'm earning money."
Grab takes a 10 per cent commission for every JustGrab fixed-fare ride made by taxi-driver partners and 20 per cent for those made by GrabCar drivers.
Next week, from May 1-7, those who complete 40 JustGrab trips will earn $100 in incentives. If they earn less than $540, Grab will top up the difference.
A media release yesterday said JustGrab has received more than 5 million bookings since the app was launched. It said waiting times have gone down from five minutes to about 3.7 minutes.
Grab also said taxi driver-partners on JustGrab are earning an average of $100 more per week pre-incentive and $220 more post-incentive.
The company declined to share the average earnings and number of bookings received by taxi-driver partners, before and after JustGrab's launch.
Mr Melvin Vu, head of GrabTaxi Singapore, said: "Our data reveals that productive taxi driver-partners who maintain a high acceptance rate earn 2.2 times more per hour than those with a lower acceptance rate, since the launch of JustGrab.
"We encourage all driver-partners to try the new service and reap the rewards of JustGrab."
National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng said he still has reservations about dynamic pricing for taxis.
He said he has encountered taxi drivers who still avoid dynamic pricing and prefer to stick to the meter rates.
Dr Lee said: "The dynamic pricing claims to focus on demand and supply. But, it can change rapidly, so how do these companies calculate the demand and supply and the resulting fares?
"We should enable greater transparency of the demand and supply for taxis, so consumers, as well as taxi drivers, can make better choices."