Screengrab of S'pore Grab driver raking in S$6,020 earnings in 1 week sparks online discussion

The driver was supposedly not offering premium ride services.

Fiona Tan | January 30, 2023, 04:56 PM

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A Grab private-hire vehicle driver recently achieved an impressive feat, raking in a whopping S$6,020.20 earnings in the span of one week.

An image of the driver's supposed earnings statement from Jan. 9 to 15 was reshared onto the Beh Chia Lor - Singapore Road Facebook page.

Breakdown of the driver's earnings

The driver's total earnings were apparently S$6,020.20, before a deduction of S$792.38.

The deduction included S$788.38 worth of commissions to Grab, inclusive of the 8 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST), and a S$4 "adjustment".

After the deduction, the driver's gross earnings for the week were apparently S$5,227.82.

The earnings included a S$2 tip, as well as S$2,080.7 worth of incentives.

Excluding the incentives from the total earnings, the driver likely made S$3,147.12 just based on rides alone over the week from Jan. 9 to 15.

This works out to an average of S$449.50 a day, assuming that he drove all seven days that week.

However, no further details were provided about the driver's overheads, such as vehicle rental costs, petrol fees and parking costs, and how the driver managed to achieve the incentives.

Image from Beh Chia Lor - Singapore Road/Facebook.

Widely discussed

The driver's feat was widely discussed in the post's comment section.

Some commenters, presumably also private-hire drivers or people who are familiar with the matter, speculated that the driver likely put in anywhere between 12 to 20 hours each day to earn that amount of money.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Others suggested that the driver could be offering Premium rides, a category of ride-hailing services that Grab offers which is generally pricier than those from the Everyday category, such as JustGrab and GrabCar.

Another commenter quoted the driver, saying that the latter has supposedly clarified that he offers "non-premium" rides, but had stopped short of providing further details such as the number of hours spent driving.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

While the exact number of hours driven remains up for debate, one thing is for certain, the driver must have put in more hours in order to achieve this level of earnings.

Some comments recognised the driver's hard work:

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Others called the driver a braggart, adding that he should have kept his earnings to himself as it may lead to unwanted consequences.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

A handful of commenters, who were presumably concerned by the long hours, hoped that the driver was not forsaking his health for money.

Image screenshot from Facebook.

Mothership has reached out to Grab for more details.

Drivers often work 59 hours a week

An Institute of Policy Studies survey on platform workers published in February 2022 found that private-hire drivers, as well as delivery riders, have to slog and "grind" to earn a good wage.

The researchers gave an example of a delivery rider who had to cycle for more than 12 hours a day almost every day to earn more than S$5,000 a month.

The paper also found that Singapore’s private-hire vehicle drivers are often working 59 hours a week.

40 per cent of platform workers were not satisfied with their working hours and 44 per cent of the workers reported having worse health since they started driving.

When it came time to take a break, 64 per cent reported that they felt stressed about taking long breaks during work hours and 40 per cent felt that they had sufficient break times during their driving shifts.

The researchers proposed implementing a rest period policy for private-hire car drivers who spend long hours on the road, such as nudging drivers to rest after driving for a predetermined time, and encouraging them to lead healthier lifestyles.

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Top image from Beh Chia Lor - Singapore Road/Facebook and by Rolando Garrido