Drivers and cabbies expect gradual increase in ridership
As more people headed back to work on the first day after the circuit breaker ended yesterday, cabbies and private hire drivers were expecting to see an uptick in business.
It didn't go that well for some, but they expect business to pick up in the coming days.
Mr Jackie Chen, 44, a Grab driver of three years, told The New Paper: "Even though today's crowds didn't meet my expectations, it's only the first day, so I will give it time for business to improve."
ComfortDelGro cabby Jade Cho, 46, said she was lucky as there were more jobs yesterday morning. "I saw more people on the roads, especially between 6am and 6.45am. There were slightly more bookings (than on Monday)."
But private-hire drivers like Mr Steven Lim said he did not get as many rides as he had expected.
The 45-year-old Grab driver said: "I was expecting at least 20 per cent of the crowd back, but it was nowhere near my expectations. Despite the crowded MRTs, there were no customers on the roads."
Mr Lim is not confident his ridership will increase by much.
He said: "Not everyone can afford a $15 Grab or Gojek ride to and from work every day."
A Grab spokesman said: "We've seen more people moving around Singapore and booking rides today as we enter Phase One after the circuit breaker."
But she added that given enhanced social distancing measures, the company expects Singaporeans to continue with a cautious approach in their day-to-day activities and we are not likely to see numbers return to what they were pre-Covid-19 in the near future.
To prepare for increased ride volumes, Gojek is providing all their driver-partners free car fogging and sanitisation services, courtesy of their GoFleet partners.
Mr Lien Choong Luen, general manager of Gojek Singapore, said: "As Singapore enters Phase One of reopening, we expect ride-hailing demand and trips to pick up progressively."
Ms Tammy Tan, group chief corporate communications officer of ComfortDelGro, said: "It is still too soon to say if demand is definitely up, but just based on today's records, there was an increase of close to 50 per cent in the number of booking trips compared with the same day last week."