GRAB Philippines on Sunday said the rider demand for its GrabCar service is now starting to recover, with over 50,000 bookings made as of Saturday.

Nagsimula na ang byahe ng GrabCar, mga dalawang linggo na, at unti-unti namang umaakyat ang ating mga pasahero,” Grab Philippines President Brian P. Cu said via Facebook Live on Sunday.

(Our GrabCar has been operating for two weeks now, and the number of our passengers is slowly increasing.)

He added that as of Saturday, there were already more than 50,000 bookings made.

“Mas mababa pa rin sya kumpara sa ating pre-COVID numbers, pero unti-unti namang umaakyat,” he said.

(The numbers are still lower than what we had before the coronavirus pandemic.)

He said that in the first two weeks of the general enhanced community quarantine (GCQ), Grab Philippines’ online drivers had received 10 to 12 trips per day.

“Ang tingin namin kapag nag-phase two na tayo ng GCQ ay aakyat pa lalo ang ating mga numbers, ng demand,” he noted.

(We expect the rider demand to increase when we shift to the second phase of the GCQ.)

The government requires cashless payment in taxi units and transportation network vehicle services.

The company had trained about 7,000 drivers to carry out cashless transactions in preparation for the resumption of public transportation nationwide.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) is implementing in two phases the resumption of mass public transportation at a limited passenger capacity. The first phase is from June 1 to June 21, covering the operations of trains, taxis, transport network vehicle services, shuttle services, point-to-point buses, and the implementation of the bus augmentation system for trains. The government also started to allow the use of bicycles during this phase.

Allowing tricycles to operate would depend on local government units. Phase one does not allow provincial buses to enter Metro Manila.

For the second phase, covering June 22 to the end of the month, the government will allow the resumption of the operations of public utility buses, modern public utility vehicles, and UV Express at a limited passenger capacity.

The government has yet to decide on the resumption of provincial bus operations.

Public transport vehicles are required to follow the one-meter physical distance rule between passengers under the health protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Health department. — Arjay L. Balinbin