Grab readies e-scooter service for short commutes

Jessica Fenol, ABS CBN News

Posted at May 09 2019 10:01 AM | Updated as of May 09 2019 07:14 PM

JAKARTA -- Ride-hailing firm Grab said it would launch an electronic scooter service called GrabWheels for short trips, widening options for commuters.

The service will fill in the "last mile" in everyday commute such as the gap between transport stations to office buildings or walkable distances, said GrabWheels business operations head Kunal Gupta. 

Users just need to scan the QR code on the electric scooter found in designated GrabWheels stations to activate it and is payable through GrabPay. It can be returned in designated areas as well. 

Scooters, meant for 3 kilometer to 5 km distance, can run for up to 15 kph, he said. A safety briefing and a helmet is provided for users. 

"The purpose or the reason is for shorter ride, we wanted something more convenient," Gupta said. "With Southeast Asia's hot and humid climate, it's very hot, people want to finish short commute very fast."

Grab Philippines has been beta testing the service in Uptown Mall in Taguig. It will be launched formally within the year.

Change to: QR code on a GrabWheels e-scooter. ABS-CBN News​

The GrabWheels pilot will help determine the applicable price point for the service, which is currently free. It has been gaining "good traction," Gupta said. 

Grab also announced other upcoming services this year including in-app video streaming and hotel bookings.