Grab drivers to no longer see rider destinations starting Friday

By Aerol John Pateña

April 24, 2018, 8:27 pm

MANILA -- Drivers of ridesharing firm Grab Philippines will no longer see passenger destinations starting Friday, April 27, which will lead to reducing the incidents of cancelled booked trips.

Grab will also launch an auto-accept feature that will automatically allocate trips to drivers allowing a more seamless experience in continuously accepting passenger requests.

“We hear what our riders want and we will continue to improve our services while making bookings more efficient for our drivers. We will implement non-showing of passenger information before ride acceptance, as it is a major source of complaints,” Grab country head Brian Cu said in a statement Tuesday.

"We want to vastly improve our services hence our consecutive decisions to sanction 500 errant drivers over the week, and now the non-showing of the passenger destination and the auto-accept feature," he added.

The auto-accept driver-app feature will be implemented on Friday while the destination masking will initially be rolled out to 25 percent of Grab drivers with historically low acceptance rate.

Cu said they have reached out to Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Road Transport Tim Orbos and Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon for advice on the implementation of these features.

“Grab reached out to DOTr for proper guidance and to express our commitment to continue working with the government to improve and strengthen the TNVS sector. We are thankful that they are supportive of this measure,” Cu said.

The ride-hailing firm will also require its riders to provide their correct and complete account information which can be linked to social media platforms to ensure the safety of the drivers.

“We will never compromise safety and we will always put the welfare of our drivers and passengers first. We thank our drivers for understanding the masking of destination feature. We hope that our passengers will do their part and verify their accounts for safety and proper identity,” Cu said.

Drivers will also have the option to see passenger destinations during the wee hours of the night for their protection.

For its part, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) welcomes the move of Grab as this will benefit the riding public.

“We welcome the move of Grab to mask passenger destinations. We hope that the riders will now be able to experience lesser cancellations and we appreciate the move which was unilaterally done by Grab. Magandang hakbang nila (This is a very good move). Moving forward, it’s all geared to ensure the welfare of the riding public,” LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said in a text message to reporters.

Grab has maintained that main reason for the difficulty in booking a ride is due to the lack of cars, resulting to low supply.

It assures, however, that it will exert efforts to keep more drivers on the road to address passenger demand and prevent long waits and price surges. (PNA)