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Grab has announced a new SG$10 million investment in the GrabCar private hire car segment for Singapore as part of its effort to complement the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) regulation with the Private Hire Car Driver Vocational License (PDVL) framework.
According to a press release by Grab, this investment aims to cover end-to-end support for new and existing GrabCar drivers in four areas – supporting drivers in obtaining their PDVL, including all related fees; building a community of new and experienced drivers; co-contributing to drivers’ MediSave; and strengthening Grab’s technology and operations to ensure it is compliant with requirements under the new Road Traffic Act.
Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore said: “We are making this $10 million investment to assist and train our GrabCar drivers. We believe the focus Grab places in helping our drivers succeed in earning a sustainable income and have peace of mind with better care for their medical needs will make driving a long term sustainable option for more in Singapore.”
Supporting drivers in obtaining PDVL
Once PDVL applications open on 13 March, Grab looks to actively support and assist its drivers throughout every step of the process.
“To assist GrabCar drivers in obtaining PDVL licenses quickly and seamlessly, Grab is helping to defray all PDVL-related charges including the PDVL application fee, medical checkups, as well as training and test fees,” the press statement said.
To facilitate the application process, Grab will make use of its online PDVL application portal and share regular updates with drivers and notify them of their application status.
Building a community of new and experienced drivers
Recognising that many new drivers require time and more support to learn how to achieve a sustainable income, Grab implemented the Road Stars programme which aims to rapidly build a driver support network for the longer term.
The programme works by pairing up two experienced drivers with new drivers in teams of five to earn SG$2 million in prizes.
The main programme is based on points awarded for completed GrabCar and GrabShare rides for a prize money of $50,000 with a series of mini games for drivers to earn additional points and immediate cash prizes. Throughout Road Stars, drivers will be encouraged to improve their service quality for a more pleasant ride experience for commuters.
As part of the pilot, a month-long team registration is now open with the driver games commencing for four weeks from 10 April. The top team stands to win a prize money of $50,000 to be awarded in May.
Providing further context on Road Stars, Lim said: “We are experimenting with a new approach to gamify the driver experience to help onboard and build a closely-knit Grab community of drivers.”
“Driving need not be a lonely experience. Road Stars helps to bring new and experienced drivers together and share the best ways to earn higher incomes and better serve passengers consistently. Grab hopes to improve and replicate this driver programme in more of our cities if successful,” he added.
This programme will run alongside Grab’s Driver Sustainability Programme to reduce drivers’ operating costs with benefits such as exclusive fuel discounts available with Shell and subsidised mobile subscription charges.
Co-contributing to drivers’ MediSave
To encourage its driver-partners to regularly contribute to their MediSave and plan for their future, Grab implemented the GrabCar Driver Programme.
As the first ride-hailing company to participate in the MediSave scheme for private hire car drivers, Grab will contribute to its drivers’ future medical needs and support their well-being. through the GrabCar MediSave Programme.
The GrabCar MediSave Programme, open to all GrabCar drivers who are exclusive to the Grab platform, will match a percentage of a driver’s earned incentives, subject to a driver’s own contribution to the individual’s MediSave account and a maximum monthly cap of $200.
Strengthening Grab’s technology and operational readiness
As part of Grab’s preparations to be operational ready for PDVL and to address amendments to the Road Traffic Act, it is introducing a number of new measures and enhancements including:
Security within the Grab Driver app
To ensure that only licensed GrabCar drivers are able to accept passenger bookings, Grab drivers will be required to verify their profiles using biometric or facial recognition whenever the Grab Driver App is launched. This new feature is said to take effect later this year.
To give its drivers ample time to renew their policies, Grab’s driver systems will be updated for sending auto-notifications to drivers whose PDVL and commercial insurance policies are nearing expiry. Grab is also working with fleet partners to ensure driver vehicle information is updated at all times.