Expect longer waiting times for a Grab ride from Saturday

Those wanting a Grab ride have been asked to book early.

PETALING JAYA: Grab users can expect longer waiting times once e-hailing regulations come into force on Saturday (Oct 12) as less than half of the company’s drivers have obtained their public service vehicle (PSV) licences.

In a statement, Grab said it had aimed for at least 150,000 drivers to go through the PSV process but to date, only 41% have obtained the licence.

“A further 24% are currently waiting, either for examination results or for an examination slot.”

Some 22% of drivers, said Grab, have dropped out, citing various reasons, including the time and cost to comply with regulations.

Every day, Grab has one million ride bookings and, on average, a passenger can get a ride within six minutes.

“Unfortunately, this may change after Oct 12.

“With fewer driver-partners on the roads to serve an ever-increasing demand for ride-hailing, consumers will feel the pinch of longer waiting times, especially during peak hours and rainy days.”

Passengers, Grab said, should book their rides earlier than usual and should not cancel a ride once they received one, even if the waiting time seems unusually long.

“Getting a ride is much easier outside the peak hours of 7am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm,” it said, adding it hoped the imbalance between supply and demand will be temporary.

Grab also welcomed Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook’s announcement that additional requirements set by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would not be compulsory.

This includes the need for drivers to print out a physical copy of the e-hailing vehicle permit, and changing their vehicle code at JPJ branches.

“Correspondingly, the registration of a vehicle for e-hailing would not be reflected in the vehicle grant.”

The government has said it will not delay the implementation of e-hailing regulations.