The new requirement for all e-hailing drivers to have Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licences is finally set to be enforced, with the latest deferment ending in a month’s time. It’s certainly been a matter of controversy, with e-hailing drivers complaining that the requirements were overly stringent, while some have alluded to the new rule being an attempt by Transport Minister Anthony Loke to allay the concerns of other parties, such as taxi companies.
With that in mind, Grab has just updated us with some of the numbers as far as their driver-partners are concerned. With an initial target (at the beginning of April 2019) that 150,000 of their drivers would undertake the process of attaining their PSV licences, Grab reveals that 26% of (previously) active driver-partners have dropped out entirely, with the main barrier being the time needed to complete the process. This is compounded by the fact that many of these driver-partners drive for Grab as way to gain supplementary income—time is scarce.
In some better news for Grab, 27% of their driver-partners are now licensed, while around 15% are still waiting for their licences to be issued. This amounts up to a percentage of 42%, which is a reasonably healthy percentage if you consider that many that have dropped out were probably part-timers. On the other hand, 15% are halfway there, and 17% are waiting to go through the paper-based examinations.
This adds up to a rough figure of 3 out of 10 drivers having attained their PSV licences, while Grab says that 7/10 drivers have begun the process (this figure, however, includes the aforementioned drivers who have already attained their licences). And of course, 3/10 drivers have dropped out altogether.
But Grab wants to improve this. Grab says that there are plans to work with authorities to “unblock the multiple capacity constraints” that have been strained by the rapid number of applications in such a short space of time. At the moment, it isn’t clear yet as to the moves that Grab are planning, however.
Another issue that the e-hailing company wants to solve, is the disqualification of OKU drivers under the old rules. But Grab warns that fares might be hiked, at least in the foreseeable future:
“As commuters ourselves, we understand the pain passengers feel when fares are higher. However, with the possibility of fewer drivers on the road, you may experience an increase in dynamic fares, especially during peak hours and rainy weather.”
In order to deal with this, passengers are advised to “pre-plan your travel, for the time being.” To find out more about the issue, click here.