Grab Car service has become a phenomenon in the public transport segment in Malaysia and in Southeast Asia today.
In Malaysia Grab Car service has become very popular to the extent most people who need transport to go to places in town or the suburbs can just dial the phone number and within 5 minutes depending on the traffic situation will see a Grab Car waiting at the door step.
It is a very fast, efficient and a safe public transport service when the details of the car and the picture of the driver are posted to the caller’s hand phone screen for assurance and safety.
The most interesting part is you can type the address of the place you are from and your destination to know the fare before making confirmation. If you feel the fare is not reasonable then you need not confirm your booking. You also have a choice to cancel the booking.
Being on a Grab Car from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Kuala Lumpur recently, Malaysia World News (MWN) staff had a chance to chat with a part time Grab Car driver whose profession is a gymnasium instructor.
The driver aged 26 said, he drives the Grab Car on part time basis to help his grandmother who lives in Petaling Jaya with his elderly aunty who is both from Kelantan.
In his free time or if he is on his way to fetch or send a passenger near Petaling Jaya, he will send “packed food” to his grandmother and aunty.
The Kelantan born grab driver said, he is responsible to take care of the two elderly ladies and with the extra money he earns he can save for his future plans.
“With no fixed salary and unstable income it is very difficult to borrow any loan from the bank to buy a house or any property for that matter,” he said.
He added, the income he gets from his part time work is just enough to maintain his lifestyle in a big city like Kuala Lumpur.
Even beautiful young girls have become grab drivers and they are earning so much money daily to meet their needs.
A beautiful young Grab Car driver in her 20’s took MWN staff for a short distant drive in Damansara Height one afternoon.
When asked whether her husband allows her to be a Grab Car driver that is opened to high risks like robbery, rape or molest, she said, as a Grab Car driver she knows how to take care of herself and is always prepared to take any risk.
“My husband is also a part time Grab Car driver and he only allows me to work during the day. At least with the extra money I earn I can help my husband to pay for our baby’s monthly expenses,” she said.
In another development, a weekly newspaper, Mingguan Malaysia dated April 21, reported two Nepalese passengers were alleged to have molested a lady Grab driver in Bukit Mertajam at 5.30pm on Saturday while driving them to Taman Juru from Jalan Stesen.
According to District Police Chief, Asisstant Commissioner, Nik Rose Azhan Nik Ab. Hamid, one of the suspects held the driver’s hand and kissed her before pulling her body and grabbed her breasts twice before she threatened to bring them to the police station.
The Grab Driver then retaliated and stopped her car to get help from the public after which they were beaten before they were handed to the police for further investigation.
The Grab Car fare is fixed as shown on the screen of the passenger’s hand phone, even if the driver takes a longer or shorter route following the waze.
For that MWN reporter had called MyCar service (similar to Grab Car) in front of the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) Langkawi during the LIMA’19 at the end of March. The road was congested all the way and the driver that promised to reach in five minutes finally arrived after half an hour.
There was no other choice but to wait for the MyCar taxi that had confirmed to pick up with the fare of RM19 from MIEC to Kuah where the ferry to Kuala Perlis was about to leave. The fare was reasonably cheap compared to the normal taxi fare from Kuah to MIEC in almost the same distant.
However, the MyCar driver managed to reach Kuah port before 20 minutes the last ferry left for Kuala Perlis. He took a longer route away from the traffic jam but no extra fare was charged.
After all the good stories about Grab Car services, it has its weaknesses too where one day a city Grab Car driver had not checked his petrol tank that was empty and had caused the car to stop at a place near Kuala Lumpur.
A friend who was travelling on that Grab Car did not report to the centre as the driver managed to get another car to continue the journey to the destination within 10 minutes.
A former journalist who is a full time Grab Car driver said he managed to get a monthly income of at least RM3, 000 for working eight hours a day.
However he said the challenge he has to face almost every day is when the caller cancelled the booking after he travelled two to three kilometres and that cost him petrol and energy
The company (Grab) can only allow a Grab driver to cancel less than 30 percent bookings and if it goes beyond, the driver will be banned from continuing his service.
He also mentioned that there are two types of payment to Grab Company; firstly 20 percent from the daily income for auto accept system where the driver cannot reject once he accepts the job.
For manual system the journalist added, 25 percent from the daily income will be deducted but the driver can reject the job that he does not want for at least two times per day.
The Grab Car service is not only fast and efficient but more importantly it uses a special apps and one has to own a hand phone with internet access.
The Grab Car driver does not only have to know how to read the Waze or other apps for direction but also have to understand the Internet language regardless of age and educational background.
We see the drivers are usually from the younger generation while few are from the older generation who are apps savvy.
The rapid changes in communication technology, has given rise to a new system in public transport like the Grab Car service. Grab Car system has slowly creeps in to replace the traditional public taxi system which uses the meter system to determine the fare according to the distance travelled.-Malaysia World News