The country’s largest ride-hailing firm hinted that its motorcycle taxi service will be reactivated and join other players in the market such as Angkas and newcomer JoyRide.
Grab Philippines head Brian Cu shared an image on his Facebook page that featured three different-colored bikers with the phrase, “Magbabalik na ang promotor. Abangan.”
The image has three bikers in the color of green, light blue and blue-purple, with the green one leading the pack.
“May magbabalik. Malapit na,” Cu simply wrote in the caption.
Earlier this month, Cu said that the GrabBike service is already “out” in the app but added that it does not have any riders yet as they were still “waiting to apply for the pilot.”
“We just got a bit excited and started testing the system to make sure it will be safe and convenient for riders and passengers,” he said before.
“And we accidentally turned it on for everyone. But the service is not yet available. We will have to wait for proper regulatory approval before we actually go live,” Cu added.
People have been asking me about when GrabBike will come out again…Ayan it’s out Na! But Shempre no drivers yet…
Some Filipinos claimed that GrabBike’s supposedly “accidental” test on the platform before might be “intentional” given that Cu has already hinted at the service’s return on his Facebook page.
“Notice that the colors of motorbikes are of Grab (green), Angkas (Light blue), and Joyride (Blue). I think this signifies that Grab is ready to compete with the two motor taxis,” a Reddit user wrote.
Before Cu announced that GrabBike’s function button was “accidental,” Grab made it known that it was serious in reviving its motorcycle taxi service in a bid to “help provide affordable and agile transport solutions” to commuters.
“Grab has prepared its approach for reviving its GrabBike service, and is ready to present to the [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] and the Department of Transportation] anytime it is asked to,” the company said before.
“This service, in other countries where Grab is present, proves to complement [transport network vehicle service], having two very distinct market segments,” it added.
GrabBike previously operated in the country as a motorcycle taxi service but it was halted in mid-2016 amid a decades-old law banning the use of motorbikes as a mode of public transportation.
If it reenters the market, it would compete with Angkas, JoyRide and MoveIt and participate in the now-revived Motorcycle Taxi Pilot Study that seeks to look into making legal motorcycles-for-hire.
The current law, the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, prohibits private motor vehicles from being used as a “for hire under any circumstance.”
The demand for affordable yet efficient modes of transportation, however, has been on the rise as Metro Manila commuters continue to experience hellish traffic even beyond rush hours.