As early as next month, primary, secondary and tertiary school students and staff in Singapore can hop on local ride-hailing firm Grab’s GrabShuttle service to get to their schools.
GrabShuttle for Schools was launched on Friday (20 April), ranging from $130 per month for one-way trips on a shuttle to $420 per month for two-way trips in a taxi. The service will allow for “more personalised and flexible transport options” as riders can customise and crowdsource desired routes via the GrabShuttle webpage, said Grab.
Alvin Wee, Head of GrabShuttle Singapore, said the new service will roll out as soon enough demand has been matched for a particular route. He added: “We expect the first pick-up to commence in May.”
Riders must pay upfront for the first two months and can choose from 13- and 23-seater Grabshuttle vehicles as well as four-seater taxis.
Grabshuttle for Schools also follows a nine-month payment schedule, compared to conventional shuttle services that require users to pay for the whole year, even during school holidays.
According to Grab, those who opt for taxis will only have three to four drop-off points. They also have the flexibility to customise drop-off points for different days, which will allow them to alight at an alternative destination without any additional charges.
“By aggregating pick-up and drop-off points across multiple schools and using tech to find the best matches, students and staff could save up to 50 per cent travelling time, as compared to traditional school bus services and public transport,” said Grab.
The ride-hailing firm added that parents will be able to track routes in real-time via the GrabShuttle app and directly contact the driver when needed.
“Route privacy also ensures that only parents or guardians of verified students are provided with the relevant information for route tracking, ensuring the safety and security of all students using the service,” said Grab.
Drivers of this new service will also “go through rounds of screening and be trained to handle younger children” and “all vehicles will be equipped with seat belts and are covered under commercial insurance”.
The introduction of GrabShuttle for Schools marks the third expansion to GrabShuttle, following the launch of GrabShuttle and GrabShuttle Plus last year.
“Since we launched GrabShuttle over a year ago, we have had parents and teachers requesting for routes to and from schools, as well as a more personalised service,” said Wee. “By listening to consumer demand and leveraging data analytics to design the most efficient routes, children can get more sleep each day, while allowing parents to save time in their daily morning routine.”
Last Friday, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore outlined a number of interim measures as it continued investigations into Grab’s deal to buy rival Uber Technologies’ business in Southeast Asia.
The competition watchdog said the measures include preventing Grab to take over operational data from Uber to enhance its market position, adding that Uber would continue to operate in Singapore until 7 May to smoothen the transition.