In response to the increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila, ride-sharing company Grab Philippines has suspended operations of its GrabShare services starting this Friday. The ride-hailing company said in a statement that the service will be suspended for both Metro Manila and Cebu, and will start at 12:00 PM this March 13, 2020.
Now, for those of you concerned, Grab is not stopping operations. You can still book a Grab to get from one place to another. Only GrabShare, which is often the cheaper option as it involves picking up numerous passengers, will not be available. The move is said to be in compliance with the government’s call for “social distancing” between members of the public. As such, GrabCar, GrabCar Premium, and GrabCar 6-Seater will not be affected.
At the moment, Grab Philippines has not specified when GrabShare will be resuming service. The company only mentioned that it will be made available once more “as soon as the public health situation de-escalates.” Grab adds that the suspension will not affect fares in its other services.
Considering that President Rodrigo Roa Duterete has put Metro Manila in a somewhat limited “lockdown” starting March 15 until April 14 to contain the spread of COVID-19, it might be a while before GrabShare becomes available once more. Fortunately, despite the travel ban, the public can still travel freely within Metro Manila via roads and even the major railways such as LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3, and the PNR. Plus, the number coding scheme has been suspended until further notice.
As of the latest report, there are 52 confirmed cases of the virus in the country with a total of 5 deaths.