SM just gave us our first taste of 2018 holiday traffic madness with a three-day Megamall sale, and it’s only going to get worse in the weeks to come. People have cash and things need to be bought, so it’s also that time of year when taxis and ride-hailing services make a killing.
During the recent Grab Philippines ‘Safer Everyday Tech Roadmap’ event, one of the inevitable questions asked during the Q&A portion was what Grab planned to do to better serve its customers during the Christmas rush.
The good news is the company recognizes the looming transport situation, and it plans to manage rates so that clueless commuters don’t flood social media with posts about insane surge pricing.
“When the per-minute charge was reinstated, we reduced our surge levels down to 1.6. That’s still in effect today. And we monitor it on a daily basis. There are days when that surge cap goes down to 1.4 or 1.5, to be able to manage the expectations of our passengers on fares,” said Grab Philippines country head Brian Cu.
“This will continue all the way to Christmas, where if we see that prices are always surging due to lack of supply and higher demand, then that surge cap will be further brought down to be able to manage expectations,” he continued. “There are two parts of surge: One is it surges up to how much, and how often. We’re trying to manage both.”
And to help drivers also earn a decent income during the holiday season—because let’s not forget that surge pricing is beneficial to the drivers—Cu has an ongoing plan that will benefit both driver and passenger.
“On top of that, we’ve budgeted a certain part of our gross receipts against promos,” he shared. “We’ve been dishing out a lot more promos over the last few weeks to be able to manage the pricing. Because if we lower prices, it affects the driver’s income. We will manage it so that the average fare will not spike up.”
Sounds like good news to us. No need to bargain with taxi drivers anymore, and we have a better chance of surviving this holiday season with our sanity intact.