From Taxi Uncle to Grab Driver: Why the Switch?

Time never used to be on Loo Chang’s side. As a ComfortDelGro taxi driver, the 44-year-old was constantly flooded with a neverending list of tasks. A typical day would entail rushing through four hours of deliveries, ferrying enough passengers to offset his daily cab rental, topping up the petrol tank and handing over the car to a relief driver — all before 6pm.

“I was always rushing…my schedule was very packed and tight,” said Loo Chang, who drove a ComfortDelGro taxi for over a decade.

But speeding across expressways has become a thing of the past since he made the switch to Grab last year. Here’s how joining the Grab family has helped to change his life.

Making Time for Himself at Work

Before, Loo Chang could hardly find time to catch his breath between rides. Nowadays, he is able to take a break in the afternoon and earn twice as much because of the flexibility that Grab affords.

He spends weekday mornings on delivery runs, dispatching flyers to different companies and taking on last-minute assignments when clients call for it. These extra jobs on the side help to expand his business as a self-starter by earning him referrals for his delivery services and helping to grow his Grab customer base over time, and also give him the chance to take a breather in the afternoon.

With the flexibility to drive as and when he wants, the hard-working Grab driver is able to ferry passengers in the evenings and on weekends without the stress of handing over his car to another driver.

“My earnings have definitely increased as I can now concentrate more on the delivery business [while also accepting rides from Grab passengers]. I also hope to take on more assignments and grow [my delivery business],” he added.

Quality Time with Family

This newfound flexibility has not only allowed Loo Chang to get the much-needed rest in between jobs, he has more time for his loved ones.

When he was a taxi driver, he was knackered by the end of the day and has little time for anything else. But after taking on the role as a Grab driver, family time is no longer put on the backburner. The additional energy and time he has gained have translated to more visits to his 74-year-old mother, allowing him to accompany her on medical appointments.

“With this greater flexibility in planning my own schedule, I have more time for my family, [which includes] visiting and spending time with my elderly mother,” said Loo Chang.

Less Costs, Less Stress

One of the best things about driving with Grab, said Loo Chang, is the removal of constant stress from his life.

As a taxi driver, he always bore the dreaded thought of paying off his daily cab rental fees at the back of his mind. To ensure that he was able to foot the rental bill, he would drive for three to four hours each evening, in addition to the many hours he clocked in throughout the day. This was often because he lacked a constant stream of passengers. But, the days of seemingly endless waiting at taxi stands is over for him.

Loo Chang said that he has not encountered problems in securing passengers, receiving bookings the moment he logs onto the Grab app on his mobile phone.

“Now, I don’t have to keep stressing about whether I have managed to earn enough to offset the cab rental fees for the day,” he said.

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.