Transport network vehicle services will resume operations in a limited capacity in areas that have shifted into general community quarantine. This includes Grab, the country’s largest and most prominent ride-hailing firm.
If, however, you’re expecting the service to go back to how it went about its operations prior to the pandemic, think again. Grab has announced a handful of initiatives and measures meant to protect both its driver-partners and riders from COVID-19, and some of the changes are pretty big ones. Check them out:
- Following the government’s mandate for cashless payments on all public transportation, Grab’s mobility service offerings will be simplified to GrabCar only. Rides may also only be paid for through cashless transactions, either via GrabPay or credit or debit card.
- GrabCar rides will have a maximum of two passengers only, with each rider seated next to the rear windows of the vehicle.
- Both drivers and passengers are required to wear face masks at all times.
- Drivers must disinfect their vehicles at the end of each trip.
- GrabCars are now required to have a non-permeable acetate barrier installed between the passengers and the driver.
- You are not permitted to use your Grab account to book for other passengers. Passengers must show their booking code to the driver before entering the vehicle, though exceptions are allowed in case of an emergency wherein the destination is a hospital.
- Driver-partners are required to open and close the doors for passengers, and passengers are not allowed to open or close doors themselves.
- No eating or drinking inside the vehicle.
- Passengers will receive a notification regarding safety protocols and hygiene once a ride is booked.
- Passengers, drivers, and delivery partners will be required to complete an online health and hygiene checklist “confirming they do not exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms and have adopted the necessary safety and hygiene measures before they make a booking or start driving.”
- If a driver or rider notices someone in the vehicle is unwell, they are encouraged to submit feedback via the app’s Help Center. If an individual is reported to have exhibited COVID-19 symptoms more than once, he or she will be advised to see a doctor and will have his or her Grab account temporarily put on hold until they receive medical clearance.
- A ‘mask selfie verification feature’ is available which will verify if drivers or delivery partners are wearing masks prior to receiving bookings.
- Both the driver and passenger may cancel a booking without penalty if one or the other is not wearing a mask. Simply select the ‘driver/passenger did not wear a mask’ as the cancellation reason. The company will look into accounts reported multiple times.
- Grab partners are encouraged to carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant to keep surfaces clean at all times. The company has distributed over 4,000 bottles of hand sanitizers and disinfectant to its partners over the last few months.
- Driver-partners now undergo safety and hygiene certification and are provided with partially subsidized hygiene kits. The kits include the required non-permeable acetate barrier.
- Mandatory deep disinfection conducted at select sanitation hubs is required every other day. Drivers must allow chemicals to dissipate prior to taking on passengers.
“Safety has always been at the core of what we do at Grab and while we understand that the public health situation remains to be fluid and ever-changing, we will continue to introduce innovations and policies that would protect and support the lives and livelihoods of every Filipino,” Grab Philippines president Brian Cu said in a statement.
“We have made significant strides on safety and we will not shy away from making more meaningful contributions to put our passengers, and driver-partners at ease as we move towards the new reality,” Cu added.
Are these safeguards enough to get you to book grab rides once your area shifts into GCQ? Let us know in the comments.