Three-month trial of new GrabWheels service will deploy electric scooters across eight parking stations
Grab’s innovation arm, Grab Ventures, is collaborating with the National University of Singapore (NUS) to introduce an electric scooter (e-scooter) sharing service on the NUS Kent Ridge campus. During the three-month trial, which started on 19 November 2018, e-scooters are deployed across eight parking stations on campus. The number of parking locations will be increased progressively to 30 by the end of December 2018. This is also the first time that the new shared active mobility app, called GrabWheels, is being tested in Singapore.
The pilot programme, which offers a green transportation option for NUS staff and students, aligns with the University’s commitment towards campus sustainability and complements its current transport infrastructure.
As part of the trial, Grab and NUS will also study the patterns of how commuters utilise the shared e-scooters, to gain insights into how e-scooters can help address transportation needs on campus.
Smoother ride across campus
Users will first need to download the GrabWheels Beta app and link to the main Grab app to set up the application. To start using GrabWheels, users can go to any of the dedicated parking locations across the NUS Kent Ridge campus to get an e-scooter. They can then unlock the e- scooters with the GrabWheels Beta app, and start their journeys.
During the pilot period, users will pay a special rate of S$0.20 for every 30 minutes of use, and they can make payment using GrabPay. They will also receive 5x GrabRewards Points for every dollar spent. All rides also include insurance coverage, at no additional cost to users.
Upon reaching the destination, the app will direct the rider to return the e-scooter to the nearest parking location. The rider can only end the trip and lock the e-scooter by scanning a specific QR code at the 8 dedicated parking lots. Every evening, Grab’s operations team will collect all e- scooters, recharge them and return them to their original parking locations for use the next day.
The GrabWheels e-scooter product meets the set of rules stipulated under the Active Mobility Act for use on public paths1. In addition, the e-scooter model used in the pilot programme also meets the UL2272 fire safety standard.
To encourage users to ride safely within the campus, Grab will educate users on safe riding behaviour through in-app messages. There will also be a support team on standby round the clock, to assist users when they encounter any issue during the pilot period.
Professor Yong Kwet Yew, NUS Senior Vice President (Campus Infrastructure), said, “NUS is committed to incorporating sustainability in our campus operations. The University’s long-term sustainable campus development plan also involves providing infrastructure to enable green transportation options. Hence, we are delighted to collaborate with Grab to introduce e-scooters to support the growing commuting needs of the NUS community. This partnership with Grab not only provides a last-mile transportation option for NUS students and staff, but it also offers interesting research opportunities to develop innovative mobility solutions that could shape the future of urban transportation.”
“Grab is proud to partner with NUS and to support them in their campus sustainability initiative. We believe that shared and active mobility is the future, especially for short distance travelling needs. The new GrabWheels Beta app unveiled in this pilot will allow us to explore more of such services that complement existing transport options and provide them at a high level of safety and quality standards. Our partnership with NUS is a good example of how Grab can work together with local communities and cities to improve transportation and urban mobility for all,” said Mr Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures.
Nicholas Tey, Year 4 undergraduate student from the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said, “As students, we have to move around the campus frequently to attend classes, meet our friends or to run errands. These e-scooters offer us an alternative to taking the shuttle buses, especially when we are in a hurry and the bus has yet to arrive. The parking locations are conveniently located near places where students usually hang out. The GrabWheels app is also easy to use, and I will use the service often.”
1 For example, the Active Mobility Act requires e-scooters used on public paths to have a maximum weight of 20kg, maximum width of 70cm, and maximum motorized speed of 25km/h.