People are always saying that there are just way too many taxis on the road in Singapore – and it does seem that way doesn't it – especially when you're stuck in a traffic jam during rush hour.
But I'll bet that just like me, you'd be questioning that statement when you've been hanging on the phone for over an hour on a Monday morning, getting late for an important meeting!
During peak hours, its a minor miracle to actually book a taxi on time; even though we have six different cab companies to choose from in Singapore - comprising as of January 2015, over 28,500 taxis!
Of course the recent GrabTaxi service has eased that burden considerably, but there are still certain times during the day when you can't avoid having to hang on the line.
In an ideal world, where money was no obstacle, I'd just click my fingers and my personal chauffeur would be at my beck and call, complete with a sparkly set of wheels. But unfortunately, this is the real world, and I'm not made of money! But as of April 2015, the dream and luxury of an affordable chauffeur-driven ride has become that more accessible...
The same people that brought you GrabTaxi have now launched GrabCar, and I've been itching to try it! GrabCar complements the GrabTaxi service – and it just might be the answer to our prayers - balancing the vehicle-to-passenger supply and demand situation during critical periods such as peak hours.
In July 2014, GrabCar was launched to complement GrabTaxi’s taxi booking services, offering premium 4-seaters for those who like to travel in style, as well as 6- and 13- seaters for commuters travelling in groups or with luggage. However during peak hours taxi demand still exceeds supply, therefore in April 2015, a fourth option GrabCar (Economy) was officially launched in Singapore to provide commuters with another option to get a ride.
Started in Malaysia, it is now available in Thailand, Philippines and Singapore. The App has been downloaded on more than 3.8 million mobile devices to date.
And this is how it works: Just like GrabTaxi, GrabCar is an on-demand, private hire vehicle service which is booked via the existing GrabTaxi mobile app. Users can select the type of GrabCar service that they require, for example, GrabCar (Economy), to make a booking.
(There are now 4 tiers to GrabCar: GrabCar (Economy), GrabCar+ (Premium), GrabCar 6- seater and GrabCar 13-seater. Each category is designed to suit the different needs and budget of commuters).
Once a booking is confirmed, passengers will receive their assigned driver’s details – name, mobile number, vehicle registration number and also his photo. Passengers will also be able to track the driver’s movements as he moves towards them.
Pretty straightforward right? So this weekend, we put the updated app to action for ourselves and took our first GrabCar ride!
|GrabCar driver Mohamad: on time and ready to go!|
Our driver Mohamad arrived right on time and even waited for us for a few minutes longer as we were running a little late. Smartly dressed and very polite, Mohammad made us relax immediately - and in fact that was the most refreshing thing about the entire ride; he was calm and friendly, not in the typical mad rush that most taxi 'uncles' are in, as they fight to get in as many bookings as possible during their daily shifts. The great thing is even if we do get caught in a jam or the driver has to take a massive detour for some reason, the fare remains fixed* once you make the booking.
(*ERP not included. Additional stops are chargeable at S$5 per stop. Additional waiting time: S$5 per 10 mins).
Our ride was a spotless champagne-gold Toyota Corolla. As GrabCar (Economy) is catered towards the everyday taxi user seeking an affordable alternative to cabs, vehicles used are usually Toyota Corolla, Toyota Wish and Honda Civic, with fares comparable to taxis.
If you happen to be more adventurous and want to leave an impression, GrabCar+ Premium offers a more premium range of vehicle models, like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series, with correspondingly higher fares.
We had a pleasant chat with Mohamad during the course of our journey, and he was very happy working with GrabCar, already taking on average at least ten rides a day. In no time we had reached our destination, and even a couple of traffic jams on the way did nothing to spoil the ride!
The convenience and comfort of a GrabCar ride has made it an instant hit with me, and I can see myself making use of this service many, many times in the near future!
|Destination Reached: A pair of happy travellers!|
You can read more about the GrabCar service via http://grabtaxi.com/grabcar/.
Stay tuned for our next post - where we'll show you how to make a booking with GrabTaxi, and show you how easy and convenient it is!
As part of the launch of GrabCar (Economy), get 10 x $5 off GrabCar Economy rides from today 'til 3rd May 2015 by entering “TRYGC” into the promo code box to enjoy this great offer!
And ESPECIALLY for LXG readers: MORE EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS!
Enter “GRABLEAGUE” into the promo code from 28th April to 12th May 2015 and enjoy $8 off your first 2 GrabCar rides!
Terms and Conditions:
“TRYGC” promo code is available for a maximum of 10 rides only
“GRABLEAGUE” promo code is available for a maximum of 2 rides only from 28th April to 12th May 2015.
These two promo codes cannot be used at the same time.
The “GRABLEAGUE” promo code is applicable to all GrabCar categories.
Visit the LXGers' Facebook Page to find out more!