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Grab Singapore slashes waiting period, cancellation time from 5 to 3 min

Photo showing white and green Grab car with a rounded inset showing someone using the Grab app. (PHOTO: Getty)
Grab slashes its grace waiting period and cancellation times. (PHOTO: Getty)

SINGAPORE — Grab Singapore will be reducing its waiting and cancellation time from five to three minutes from next Monday (18 July), the company said in notifications to users and drivers.

Users will be charged a cancellation fee of S$4 if they cancel their ride more than three minutes after getting a driver. Currently, the cancellation fee only applies if users cancel their rides more than five minutes after getting a driver.

The same can be said of the grace waiting period. While users are currently given five minutes to make it to their rides before they are charged a waiting fee, this grace period will be reduced to three minutes from next Monday. Users will be charged S$3 in five-minute blocks if they exceed the grace period.

The waiting and cancellation fees remain the same.

The new grace waiting and cancellation periods apply to JustGrab, GrabPet, GrabFamily, GrabCar, GrabCar Plus and GrabCar Premium services. For GrabCar Premium, users will continue being charged S$5 per five-minute waiting block after three minutes.

A Grab Singapore spokesperson said, "After careful evaluation, we believe that it is timely to reduce the grace waiting period for Grab rides. Today, 94 per cent of our rides already see passengers at their pick-up points within three minutes of their drivers arriving.

"As the country re-opens and more passengers book rides, we want to help our driver-partners capture these new demand trends by spending their time on the roads more productively. It will also help reduce fuel wastage caused by idling engines, which has become more of a pain point for our driver-partners with the rising cost of fuel."

Refining backend protocols

To complement this change, Grab Singapore said it is refining controls on the backend so that driver-partners can only mark that they have arrived when they are at the pick-up point or very close to it.

The adjusted waiting grace period does not apply to GrabAssist, which caters to passengers with mobility issues.

Grab Singapore's waiting fee policy has been in place since December 2016 to ensure driver partners are “properly compensated for the additional time spent waiting for passengers that have exceeded their grace waiting period”, the firm said on its website.

The fee, in its entirety, goes to drivers.

Rival ride-hailing service GoJek currently charges S$4 to users who cancel more than five minutes after being matched to a driver. The same fee applies to users who cancel as soon as their driver arrives at the pick-up location, or if their driver cancels five minutes after arriving at the user's pick-up location.

Another similar service, Ryde charges a S$5.30 cancellation fee if a user cancels four minutes after matching with a driver, and a S$5.30 waiting fee after a four-minute grace period.

Rival company TADA charges S$5 to users who cancel after the driver arrives at the pick-up point and waits for more than five minutes. It will waive the fee if the user cancels within five minutes upon the driver’s arrival at the pick-up point for the first seven cancellations in a week. Users who make drivers wait more than five minutes will be charged $2.50 for every five-minute block.

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