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GrabCar launched in Davao

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Nonito Llanos III, LTFRB XI Regional Director, answers questions from reporters during the launch of GrabCar in Davao City on Friday (13 October 2023). He said 200 units is the number that the city can accommodate for now. MindaNews photo by YAS OCAMPO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 October) – Transportation Network Vehicle Services provider Grab Philippines has launched its GrabCar operations in Davao City nine years after it first partnered with taxi operators and drivers for GrabTaxi.

Grab Philippines launched its GrabCar service Friday, October 13, at the Dusit Thani 1 Ball Room.

During the pandemic, Grab struggled due to the multiple lockdown measures and strict health protocols. 

According to Grace Vera Cruz, Grab Philippines’ Country Head, both GrabTaxi and GrabCar’s sales in Luzon and Visayas also hit rock bottom due to the physical distancing measures.

But Grab is now optimistic it could bounce back after the pandemic and expand their operations locally. It is eyeing to have 200 units plying the city’s main streets by the end of this month.

“We think it’s the right time to launch GrabCar in Davao City this year because we know we’re ready to provide service to more Filipinos, especially now that we are already in the post-pandemic era,” Vera Cruz said.

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Grab Philippines Country Director Grace Vera Cruz. MindaNews photo by YAS D OCAMPO

“We are only limiting it to 200 units for now because based on our recent case study, this is the acceptable number that our streets and traffic in the city can absorb,” Nonito Llanos III, Regional Director of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board Region 11, said.

Llanos said that GrabCar’s operations will be limited to Davao City only.

The company expanded its operations to Iloilo in March this year.

While GrabTaxi connects passengers with traditional taxi drivers who are part of its network, GrabCar lets passengers book a chauffeured ride with a private car for a fee.

Vera Cruz assured Dabawenyos that GrabCar is packed with several safety features within Grab’s super application. 

Grab Philippines is eyeing to make a significant economic impact in Davao City through GrabCar’s operations, offering numerous opportunities for local residents and small business owners.

“We see every individual, may it be a Grab driver, food merchant, or small business owner as an entrepreneur or business partner, and all Grab wants to do is to help these people achieve their own versions of success,” Vera Cruz said during the launch.

Aside from their ride-hailing, grocery, and food delivery services, Grab Philippines also promoted GrabAcademy, their online platform that provides upskilling opportunities to their drivers and delivery partners.

Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain Jr. also said that the city needs more public transport with the return of meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions, and other large events.

Tourists are also flowing in and out, and although the land area of Davao can accommodate that, he mentioned that it will be challenging for the city’s transportation infrastructure. 

“GrabCar’s entry here is then very promising because there are already 200 units. It is also very safe so that wouldn’t be a problem for our fellow Dabawenyos and it avoids fare shock too,” he said. (Allizah Keziah Manulat/MindaNews)

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