Ridesharing

Grab Backs Off Ending Singapore Driver Incentive Program

Grab will not take away a benefits program for drivers after all.

Following criticism, rideshare app Grab will not be ceasing to offer driver benefits as planned, as drivers worry about funds in the middle of the chaos of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Bloomberg.

Grab had previously said it planned to replace existing incentive programs with a government-sponsored virus aid package. The existing incentives consist of the "Super Steady Streak" program, which gives financial rewards to drivers who record at least 200 trips over a number of months. That program has been popular with drivers for Grab.

A Grab spokesperson said the company had heard the backlash to the plan, and that it "regretted the unnecessary anxiety" that the plan had caused among driver partners.

The issue illustrates the problems faced by South Korea's biggest rideshare app, as it tries to balance its losses and also address the economic impact the coronavirus outbreak has wrought on drivers.

The Singaporean government recently announced a S$77 million, or $55 million, stimulus package to help drivers who have been experiencing a downturn in work due to the virus outbreak. The government will provide S$45 million and the ride-hailing and taxi companies in the country will contribute the rest. Around 40,000 drivers will get special relief of S$20 per vehicle per day for three months.

The health ministry in Singapore confirmed another case of COVID-19 infection in the country. That brings the total in Singapore to 86 infected. More than half of those have been discharged.

Grab is one of the many contenders for a new Malaysia digital banking license, partnering with Singtel to try and obtain a license to enter that arena.

Grab is also partnering on an air-taxi study with German air mobility startup Volocopter, which will attempt to assess the likelihood of whether or not they can bring air taxis to the Southeast Asia region. The study will focus on the appropriate municipalities and the options for deployment available in the region.

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