Grab updates fare structure, rides during peak hours to cost more


A 10km ride that takes 30 minutes, for example, will cost RM18 instead of RM15 under the new fare structure. – AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Grab Malaysia announced changes to its fare and incentive structure in a bid to compensate its drivers for time spent stuck in traffic during peak hours.

The fare per minute has been increased from 20 sen to 43 sen, while the fare per kilometre has been reduced from 70 sen to 25 sen effective today, Jan 16, in the Klang Valley.

The base and minimum rates remain unchanged at RM2 and RM5, respectively.

The company claimed the fares were revised based on feedback from its drivers.

"We hear you, and we will be revising the fare structure so that fares are based more on the time taken to complete the ride and less on the distance of the ride," it said in a statement.

The fare will still be "calculated upfront based on system-estimated distance and system-estimated trip time".

The fare formula is listed as: Base fare + (trip distance x fare per kilometre) + (trip duration x fare per minute).

A 10 km ride that takes 30 minutes, for example, will cost RM18 instead of RM15 under the new fare structure, while a 10km ride that takes only 15 minutes will cost RM11 instead of RM12.

Grab listed peak hours as 7am to 9am and 5pm to 8pm.

Mohd Azril Ahmat, vice president for the Grab Drivers Malaysia Association (GDMA), found the fare adjustment disappointing, as drivers prefer to work during non-peak hours.

"Based on the feedback I’ve gotten from some drivers today, they are expecting at least a 30% reduction in earnings.

"This is because they reduced the earnings based on distance, which is down to just 25 sen. My concern now is that other ride-hailing companies will follow the same fee structure," he said.

GDMA is a non-governmental organisation with 575 registered members, according to Mohd Azril.

Fazal Kamarudin, the founder of Ehailing.fm, an online radio station focused on the gig economy, said the fee adjustment was "shocking".

He added that most drivers have long expressed their dissatisfaction about performing rides during peak hours.

"From 70 sen per kilometre to 25 sen doesn’t make sense.

"I hope that Grab can study the fee structure again, and the relevant authorities should look into the matter," he said.

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