Ride-hailing firm Grab opens new driver support centre in Jurong East

Grab Employees at the new GrabTaxi Driver Support Centre in Jurong East.
Grab Employees at the new GrabTaxi Driver Support Centre in Jurong East.PHOTO: GRAB SINGAPORE
GrabTaxi's existing supporting centre at Midview City in Sin Ming.
GrabTaxi's existing supporting centre at Midview City in Sin Ming. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing firm Grab has opened a new driver support centre for GrabTaxi drivers in Jurong East this week, to add to its existing supporting centre at Midview City in Sin Ming.

It is also planning to open another centre in Bedok by end August in 2016.

Grab said support centres may be opened in other locations depending on demand.

GrabTaxi Singapore deputy head Melvin Vu said that the new centres demonstrated Grab's continued commitment to supporting the taxi industry, despite the growing popularity of private-hire car services such as its own GrabCar.

"Grab started as a taxi-hailing app, and we will never abandon taxis," said Mr Vu, adding that he saw taxis as a "bedrock" of the transportation system here.

The new centre in Jurong East will have officers on hand between 9am and 6pm on weekdays to help taxi drivers who wish to sign up with GrabTaxi, as well as address any issues the drivers may have.

Taxi driver Jimmy Gan, who is in his 60s, said he had seen his business improve by more than 50 per cent since first using GrabTaxi in 2013, and that bookings through the app now made up more than 90 per cent of his trips.

Mr Gan, who has been driving a taxi on-and-off for the past 26 years, said while many of his peers have started using booking apps in the last few years, there are still drivers, particularly older ones, who are wary of using such apps.

He added: "If you don't upgrade, you will be left in the dust."