A more emphatic policy for senior and pioneer drivers from GRAB

Below is a letter sent by Mr Lawrence Tay, a taxi driver under GRAB to the company on 13 October. No response has been received from GRAB by the driver till date.

Dear Grab

Congratulations on the remarkable speed with which you have capture a major portion of the passengers market in Singapore.

While I am in awe of your achievements, nevertheless, allow me to provide a feedback on a segment of your operation policy.

I am in receipt of an sms from your company dated 10.09.2017 which states that my acceptance rate (AR) for 02 – 08 OCT 2017 was below 15%

and that I may not receive any GRAB jobs for 2 weeks if my AR does not improve.

It states that passenger experience will be adversely impacted if Drivers choose to ignore GRAB jobs.

I bring to your attention that :

  1. I am a taxi driver and as such my duties are to service passengers be they from bookings or from street hail. My taxi company does not imposed on me a percentage target on how many pick-up’s I should do daily or in a week.
  2. We are bound by LTA rules to service all passengers which include senior citizens and others who may not be smart phone savvy or have your app installed.

I am saddened that GRAB has not taken into account that a number of taxi drivers are senior citizens and pioneer citizens. Our eye-sight and re-action are no longer what it was in your younger days. Besides that, quite a number of us have various minor health issues. I sincerely hope that GRAB will take into account the segment of seniors who are eking out a living and do due diligence in having a more understanding and emphatic policy.

Anybody would like to increase their income by taking on more bookings. However, if that means causing a potential accident, then one would have to let the book pass. Reasons for not taking a booking varies from being on a highway, wrong lane to turn, poor reception on our phone and finding for reading glass, putting them on and all the while trying to focus on the traffic to read the message. Many a time, I have just pass the turning point when the booking comes in which makes it impossible for a driver to accept the booking.

“Distracted Driving. Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve adistracted driverDistracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.” source: https://www.edgarsnyder.com 9, 2017

As seniors and pioneers, we are not as competitive as younger drivers. Driving is a dead end job with no prospects for advancement and is a retirement job that is meant to be relatively stress free. Our appetite for money may not match the expectations of companies driven by today’s need for market domination. Health and some rest in-between jobs is important to us. see: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/cabby-found-dead-vehicle-pasir-ris-close

The use of “Carrot and Stick Method” to prod drivers towards one own goals may not be entirely workable. Proper recognition and understanding using a wide lens view of the myriad of drivers maybe a better option.

In summary, I quote from Prof. Richard Thaler, 217 Nobel prize winner for economics. “The only fact is that human behaviour is irrational”.

In conclusion, rather than have somebody ban me, I have decided to refrain from accepting jobs voluntarily for the foreseeable future. It makes life more peaceful for all this way. The $10 petrol vouchers for picking up passengers from Sentosa and Moon Cakes presented by passengers for good service and which were sms-ed to me by your company, I request that you give it to somebody deserving. I will not be collecting it as I was only doing my job.

I thank you for your patience in reading this email and it is my sincere hope that GRAB will view it in a positive light and amend their policy to meet the diversity of drivers including Seniors and Pioneers.

Thank you

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