Grab Assist Plus was launched on 1 February 2021.
Grab Assist Plus is different from Grab Assist as it does not require the wheelchair user to dismount from the wheelchair and thus providing a comfortable ride for both the caregiver and wheelchair user.
Despite it being 10 months old, the take-up rate and the drivers' confidence level are low.
Vimo Services drivers, together with 10+ wheelchair transport drivers, join Grab Assist Plus, hoping to contribute to the wheelchair user community socially, and we are used to giving feedback to Grab Management on a regular basis. Now, we are here to share why you should book with other wheelchair transport providers.
1. One plus One is never enough
Grab Assist Plus allows only 1 wheelchair user in a wheelchair and 1 other passenger.
When we raised this concern, the Grab management replied that SMRT London cab only allowed the capacity of 1 wheelchair user and 1 other passenger. We all knew that taking care of a wheelchair user was never easy, and having just one caregiver was never enough.
Most of the private wheelchair transport providers do not have such restrictions, and Vimo Services allows up to 3 caregivers before applying additional charges on the 4th or more caregivers.
2. Restricted Drop off and Pick up locations
Grab Assist Plus was first started with only 2 pickup points - mainly SGH DMC and TTSH Foot Care and Limb Design Centre. We shared with the Grab management that we were able to meet the current demands from the wheelchair users community and pleaded them to open up the service to island wide. And all these were rejected by them.
Until now, you cannot book a Grab Assist Plus to or from the Jewel, or the Singapore Zoological Gardens.
3. Grab Assist Plus has noooo cap fare!
Usually, a wheelchair user faces some form of discriminations whether it is work or daily life. The least a wheelchair transport provider can do is to provide a fair-priced and affordable ride for the wheelchair user. Again. we voiced our concerns on the high fare on normal hours to Grab Management, and it was cast aside.
Most private wheelchair transport companies are charging $20-$55 for a wheelchair transport during normal office hours.
4. Cancellations from drivers
Imagine you were running late for your dinner appointment, and your Grab Assist Plus driver cancelled your booking due to his own personal reason. And you thought your bursting email would get him removed from the platform.
You are wrong! It requires numerous cancellations from the driver for Grab to take action against him. And nothing can compensate for your bad experience. Grab is a booking platform, they even get you to pay for your own insurance (the 30 cents)!
Private wheelchair transport companies have vast experience in limousine trade, many of the owners are ex maxi cab drivers and have been serving locals and tourists during the course of their business. And we do not cancel on customer, and if an incident happens we always able to get you a replacement at no additional cost from you.
5. Confusion from Grab Assist
In one of our posts, we shared that Grab Assist is no different from a normal taxi ride. We advised Grab to remove Grab Assist and lower the price for Grab Assist Plus so that the right community can be better served by the right group of drivers. Well, Grab Assist is still there.
From our conversations with Grab Assist riders, they thought the vehicle serving them was a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. And it was usually their first and the last time on Grab Assist.
Grab was at a very strong position to capitalize the wheelchair transport industry when a group of us approached and worked with them. A lot of feedback and suggestions were not adopted by Grab management. We were disheartened and we went ahead to develop our own mobile application to serve the wheelchair community.
The results is paying off. We are now currently having 1500 active users on our platform.
You may download our app at here and experience a better alternative to Grab Assist Plus.