Uber trip from Tuas to Changi Airport cost $179 due to surge after Grab app outage

While the Grab app was down on Tuesday night (April 3) for at least three hours, Uber users experienced a massive surge in prices, with a trip from Tuas to the airport costing an eye-watering $179.

A Grab driver, Mr Deng, 42, told Shin Min Daily News that he was about to continue driving after a meal at around 8pm that night, when he discovered that there was a problem with the Grab app.

He could not connect to the Grab server, and tried calling the hotline for assistance, but could not get through.

"As I don’t drive for Uber, I could not swap over, and there was nothing I can do.

"I waited for another half an hour and saw that the app was still having the same technical issues. I then decided to retire for the night."

Mr Deng estimated the disruption to cost him at least $100 in earnings.

Due to the Grab app being down, many turned to ComfortDelGro as well as the Uber app to book rides. 

The Uber app calculates its fares based on demands, meaning that a higher demand would equate to users having to pay more.

As a result, there was a massive surge in prices.

For many Uber users, this meant fares cost at least two times or more. 

According to Shin Min Daily News, an Uber user who wanted to travel from Tuas to the Changi Airport recounted a fare that was at least 4.3 times higher than normal, costing $179.

Another user Mr Wu, 33, told reporters that normally, it would cost just above $20 to travel from Telok Blangah to Woodlands, but the fare that night was $46.

He ultimately chose to take the MRT instead.

In response to media queries, a Grab spokesman said that the technical difficulties had arisen from problems with the underlying infrastructure.

The Grab app resumed working normally at around 11pm.

The spokesman also added that the company will compensate the affected drivers accordingly, although details have not been finalised.