More time on my hands with GrabCar
Mr Ho Boon Leong, 53, who has over 10,000 trips as a GrabTaxi driver, shares his experience after switching to GrabCar.
“Making the switch to drive a GrabCar was surprisingly easy and I saw the benefits almost immediately.”
The top benefit is extra time with my family. I now make the same amount I used to as a taxi driver but I work two hours less. I drive from 7.30am to 11pm daily, with a break between 11am and 3 or 4pm – that’s roughly about 10 to 11 hours. As a taxi driver for about eight years, three of them with GrabTaxi, I used to drive 12 to 13 hours each day.
I also love the flexibility of driving a GrabCar. If I have errands to run or need to attend to any personal appointment, I can attend to these before continuing my driving. For example, on Saturdays, I drive a few hours in the morning, then I bring my daughter for her dance class in town. I drive for about four hours while she is at class before picking her up and heading home together.
However, just like driving a taxi, you earn when you drive, so I do still watch the way I spend my time. There is flexibility in this as well – on days when I still have the energy and can afford the time, I might drive an hour or two extra to earn a bit more.
With GrabCar, your earning comes down to supply and demand. Earnings are best when demand is high. If an area has a lot of people wanting a GrabCar, fares go up. For example, there was once a friend of mine who drove someone from Sembawang to VivoCity and earned $18. During the same period, I drove a passenger from Ang Mo Kio to Robinson Road for $42. I think this is fair. Unlike a taxi meter, the customer also knows up front what he or she would be paying before the journey even begins. Thus, overall, there is less pressure from customers to drive a specified route though we should always drive efficiently and take the fastest route to the destination.
Because I know the system works on demand and supply, I never stay put in an area to wait for calls. If I don’t receive a call in a few minutes, I drive along to another area I think may have demand for GrabCars. I drive efficiently but don’t rush and I’ve found that I get calls this way quite often.
As I go along in my GrabCar journey, I’m also learning more about people’s travel patterns. For example, during the morning and evening peak hours, people want to head to town or return home from town. These are usually your executives and working professionals who mostly pay via GrabPay. During non-peak period between 1pm and 5pm, it would be trips within the heartland areas and most of the passengers would pay using cash.
My rating now is above 4.8, which the company tells me is very good. I am happy as I feel it is important to maintain a good rating. I feel satisfied that my passengers are having a good ride and business-wise, I know that a good rating will help me earn more.
Overall, I’ve been in the industry long enough to know that there are pros and cons to everything and I’m happy with my GrabCar experience so far.
– Mr. Ho Boon Leong, Former Taxi Driver
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