Many Singaporeans were stoked after a photo of Grab-branded green motorcycles went viral in the city-state last week. This led some to speculate about the impending launch of GrabBike there. The ride-hailing company however denied the rumors. Instead, it revealed today the bikes were for a team of enforcers it has deployed to check if GrabCar drivers are compliant with new transportation rules.
From July 1, private car drivers providing chauffeured services must display a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL) or a concession letter from the Land Transportation Authority (LTA) allowing them to continue driving until they have secured a PDVL. Either of these should be on their front windscreens. Along with the license, a pair of special decals or car stickers must be displayed on their front and back windscreens. Failing to do so or tampering with the decals will entail a fine or jail time.
To get the PDVL, drivers must attend and pass a year-long course. Drivers who have been providing chauffeured services prior to the passage of the new rules were given until June 30 to submit their applications for the course and may continue driving with a concession letter from the LTA.
Those who apply on or after July 1 will not be able to drive commercially until they have obtained the license.
“Hence, as of July, the Grab Enforcement Team, comprising experienced enforcement officers, will ensure Grab driver-partners have the correct licenses to operate on our platform,” a spokesperson told Tech in Asia.
“This includes ensuring that all Grab driver-partners have the proper PDVL decals, that they are carrying their PDVL or concession letter, and checking that they comply to the high standards of the GrabCar Driver Code of Conduct.”
The spokesperson said over 95 percent of Grab’s active drivers – those who spend at least five hours a day on the platform – are eligible to continue driving.
“Grab also appreciates the peace of mind the PDVL will provide to passengers, knowing that their drivers are fully licensed,” added the spokesperson.
Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing service in terms of app downloads, offers mainly taxi and car hailing across six countries in the region. Its GrabBike option is available in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
It has no plans to extend the service to Singapore yet. “We launch the services that are relevant to each market. Singaporeans don’t have a preference or habit to take bikes, as compared to say in Jakarta, where ojeks are a common mode of transport – for speed, convenience, cost,” Grab previously said.