business

Ride-hailing firm Grab hits back in Uber takeover row

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By Roslan RAHMAN

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I never heard of "Grab" before a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur. But it was very convenient to use. Besides knowing the final price of the ride in advance, the cars were much more comfortable than their stock "Budget" taxis. Drivers were very friendly too.

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After the merger/acquisition of Grab-Uber in the Philippines, many commuters felt that it became harder to get a ride, drivers became less disciplined and the fare actually went up. Grab dictates the rate of fare based on traffic, available and demand - it was the same formula Uber uses but when both companies were operating, Uber had lower rates, not to mention more disciplined and educated drivers. The positive side is that unlike metered taxis, chances of getting ripped off or getting robbed is slim with these services because the final rate is set prior to the ride and drivers are registered in the system. The negative side is that on rush hour or times of high demand, the rates go up so high it becomes a service for the privileged few.

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