Grab officially declares war on Uber with its own carpool option, GrabShare

M. Shazni
Vulcan Post via AsiaOne
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2016

Coinciding with being in the Singapore market a little over three years since they first launched here, Grab has finally revealed their newest and much-awaited feature for their app.

Frequent users of the app may have noticed this little pop-up appearing in your notifications, or while using Grab this afternoon.

Southeast Asia's leading ride-hailing platform has finally made GrabShare official.

GrabShare Comes To Singapore

Currently still in a beta testing stage, the GrabShare feature on the Grab app was made live at noon today.

What this new option provides users is basically the option to hop into a commercial carpooling service from the app. 

What GrabShare aims to do is to make carpooling more accessible, and affordable, to the masses.

At the core of this new service, passengers will still be able to enjoy the same standards and comfort they previously had when taking GrabCar Economy, just that now, it's cheaper and you can make a new friend along the way.

With the advent of carpooling in Singapore, Grab recognises that a common complaint among active users of carpooling services are the long detours, and having too many co-passengers in a single trip.

They hope to minimise this problem as much as possible through their matching algorithms that alleviates these problems, which have been developed in-house within their research and development facilities in Singapore, Seattle, and Beijing.

These are the folks responsible for developing ways to bring down your overall travelling time when taking GrabShare, and passengers should expect only an additional 20 per cent of travel time as compared to taking GrabCar Economy.

Wait, Don't They Already Have A Carpool Service?

The astute among you may have notice an overlap here for a moment.

Doesn't Grab already have a carpooling option in the form of GrabHitch?

Well yes, but there's a difference.

Here's a table to break down what areas both GrabShare and GrabHitch serve.

Source: Grab
Source: Grab

To describe it in a few words; GrabShare is an on-demand commercial carpooling service, while GrabHitch is a social carpooling experience by non-professional drivers.

Here's a summary on what GrabShare offers:

  • Cheaper Fares - Passengers can expect cost savings of up to 30 per cent on a GrabShare ride, when comparing it to GrabCar Economy, with fares being fixed and displayed upfront. It gets even cheaper during non-peak hours, thanks to Grab's dynamic pricing system.
  • Bring A Friend At No Additional Cost - A typical GrabShare ride can accommodate up to four people, so either yourself or the other carpool passenger is able to bring on-board another person, as long as both share the same pickup and drop off points.
  • Maximum Two-stop Guarantee - You will only have to go through an addition of two stops on your ride, to ensure that everyone reaches their destinations fast, and for less. Drivers will only wait for passengers for up to 3 minutes at pickups.
  • Instant Booking - Unlike GrabHitch which needs advance bookings, GrabShare is instantaneous, allowing you to make a booking anywhere and at any time.
  • Ride With Peace Of Mind - You will be covered under Grab's Group Personal Accident Insurance each time you take GrabShare.

A Welcomed Addition To On-Demand Transportation

So to summarise, here's how a typical GrabShare trip will work:

Passenger A selects GrabShare ride and is picked up by a GrabShare driver.

Passenger B selects GrabShare ride, and Passenger A and B are matched. The Grab app notifies both the driver and Passenger A and B of a successful match.

Diver makes a slight detour to pick up Passenger B. Both Passenger A and B can bring one other person to ride with them (for example, four seats in the car may be filled).

The order of pick-up and drop-off ensures that both Passenger A and B get to their destinations quickly.

With GrabShare now out, it enters into a crowded market of on-demand ride services which includes the entire umbrella of Grab ride options (GrabTaxi and GrabCar), as well as those by rivals Uber.

Buoyed by the encouraging numbers that GrabHitch has garnered in the (close to a) year since that service was launched (there was a 75 per cent growth in the last 3 months alone), it is hoped that GrabShare will continue on the tradition and enjoy explosive growth in the coming months before going out of beta.