If you’ve never taken Grab or Uber before, you’re either well-connected or have a car at your disposal.
It’s big news. Grab has officially bought over Uber’s Southeast Asia market and that means a few things: one, you won’t see drivers with two phones anymore and two, there may not be robust competition anymore.
The Singapore-based Grab announced on Monday that it would be taking over Uber’s services in eight countries, all for an undisclosed sum. The announcement comes after months of speculation, and it’s now real.
The two biggest rivals have long competed for the market share in rising Asia. By dishing out promotions and deals by the day, both Grab and Uber tried to secure a firm grip as a leader in the market but it never really stuck. Today, however, Grab seems to have come out on top.
Now that Uber has left the market, taxi drivers are hopeful of regaining a small foothold in providing transport services. However, current Grab and Uber drivers are reportedly worried. They fear the merger will mess up car rental contracts and also result in lesser benefits for them in the future.
According to Channel News Asia, both companies had different “reward systems” for their drivers. In the news report, a Singaporean driver known as Lim shared that the influx of drivers in Grab’s community may affect the incentives and rewards for all drivers moving forward.
We asked a few Malaysians who use ride-hailing services what they think of the new deal.
Max, 18, uses both Uber and Grab often to get around Kota Kinabalu. “Now, I finally won’t have to choose between two ride-sharing services. I’ve always preferred Grab because the company does not increase prices during traffic jams, but with the merger I hope it stays that way. Or, that the service just gets better!”, the production intern told Carrybeans.
As someone who doesn’t use ride-hailing services that often, Justine believes the deal won’t affect her much. The 24-year-old social media marketing executive usually drives or hitches a ride with friends or family, only taking Grab when necessary. “But it’s always good to have choices, and now that Grab is becoming the only choice the price will definitely hike. I just hope it’s not a steep fare hike,” she opined.
Jimmy, 26, takes Grab or Uber whenever he finishes work late. “There are always Grab or Uber drivers available, no matter what time I leave. The fares have also always been competitive because there’s a rivalry; now that Uber has bowed out Grab has free rein to increase its fares but we hope that won’t happen.”
Looks like ride fares are the biggest concern, after all.
Are you an Uber or Grab rider? What do you think of the deal? Let us know in the comments below!