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This article was published on March 31, 2020


Grab makes e-scooter and cab rides free for frontline coronavirus workers in the Philippines

It's putting its fleet to good use

Grab makes e-scooter and cab rides free for frontline coronavirus workers in the Philippines
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Essential workers in the Philippines are getting a helping hand from mobility company Grab in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

In an update to users last week, Grab said it has deployed 50 e-scooters to local governments specifically use by health care workers and other essential employees.

[Read: UK takes next step toward world of e-scooters, self-driving cars, and autonomous drones]

Workers in Manila, Quezon City, San Juan, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Marikina, and Pasig will have the chance to use the e-scooters. Grab says it has also prepared a further 300 e-scooters ready for deployment if the need arises.

Some might be concerned about the hygiene of using a device that’s been used by other people. While some e-scooter companies are cleaning their machines more often than normal, it’s probably worth cleaning the contact points yourself, and wearing gloves as well. Grab hasn’t mentioned if it’s cleaning its scooters more frequently.

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The UK could get its own e-scooter-based ride share platforms. Earlier in March, the country’s government took steps to formalize its consultation period on the tech.

The platform is also providing a round-the-clock car service that will carry a maximum of two healthcare workers at time.

Grab says it is observing social distancing guidelines set by the government. It is retrofitting vehicles to physically separate drivers from passengers with a clear plastic divider. Drivers are also getting specialist training in how to maintain hygiene and decrease risk of infection in their vehicles.

It’s good to see companies like Grab putting their fleets of vehicles to good use during the coronavirus outbreak.

Similar firms, Lime and Bird, have been switching off their service and removing vehicles from the streets of cities around the US and Europe due to a drop in users amid the spread of COVID-19.

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