Grab planning seamless 'mix-and-match' transport system in PH

MANILA, Philippines – Grab officially unveiled a number of newly added features to its platform, as well as plans to eventually have a multimodal passenger transport system in the country.

The announcements were made during a media event on Thursday, July 5.

“The idea for us here in the Philippines is to take away cars travelling through the major roads – the highly congested roads – and move them into higher-capacity vehicles like shuttles or buses,” said Brian Cu, country head of Grab Philippines.

The multimodal passenger transport system envisioned by Grab allows their passengers to seamlessly select and take different modes of transport to reach their destination. For instance, a Grab user can first take an on-demand shuttle, then hop on to a public bus, then finally take a GrabCar to the destination all in the same app.

Ideally, this should decrease costs for passengers, help increase the income of Grab’s driver partners, and decrease congestion in roads but, Cu admits that there are huge challenges to achieving this vision.

Unlike in Singapore where Grab is allowed to run shuttles, Cu said that until they have regulations in place that allow them to implement this system, it’s difficult to move forward with their plans.

Despite the lack of a timeline for a potential rollout of this system, Cu said they were reaching out to regulators and operators to build their multimodal transport system.

“We're in talks right now with a few P2P bus operators to see how we can use them as the mid-mile while we provide the first and last mile form of transport, either via car or trike,” Cu added.

Expanding GrabPay

Meanwhile, Grab discussed plans of expanding the use of GrabPay beyond the services they offer.

Grab’s country marketing head, Cindy Toh, said users can pay bills, buy load, and conduct other common transactions with GrabPay and earn rewards by doing so. She believes that by incentivizing the feature, it can convince people to adopt it, even in a cash-dominated market such as the Philippines.

For Grab drivers, they can build credit histories with Grab so that they can qualify for financial services such as loans and insurance solutions.

Apart from this, the ride-hailing service officially unveiled GrabFood, their food-delivery service on soft launch and Grab Daily, an in-app feed that lets users read lifestyle news, play games, or check restaurant recommendations. Both of these features are now available in the Grab app. – Rappler.com