Many app-based drivers in Ho Chi Minh City have expressed their concern after their income was significantly reduced by the most recent spike in gasoline prices.
Nguyen Hung, a GrabBike driver, said he and many of his peers have been immensely worried after gasoline prices reached nearly VND30,000 (US$1.3) a liter following the adjustment session on Friday afternoon.
Although Grab has increased the fare to compensate for the surge in fuel cost, the overall income of drivers is still affected, Hung continued.
In addition, the fare increase does not take into consideration the distance between the driver’s location and pick-up point.
“It sometimes took me 10 minutes and cost me a lot of gas to reach the pick-up point because the location was really hard to find,” Hung elaborated.
He also predicted that people would be less likely to use the service now due to the fare rise.
Drivers of such other apps as Be, Gojek, and Baemin also expressed similar opinions.
In order to shorten the distance between them and the pick-up points, they often park near places with high travel demand, namely apartment buildings, bus stations, and schools.
Nguyen Van Canh, a Be driver, said it cost him only VND50,000 ($2.2) to fill his tank, but now he has to pay VND90,000 ($3.9).
“Gasoline prices have surged while the fare and discount rate remain the same, which causes a big drop in our income,” Canh complained.
As the fare of many apps has yet to be adjusted, drivers decided to take a break from their job, explaining that fuel cost has eaten into most of their daily earnings.
“We just hope that the company hike the fare so that it can make up for the gas money,” said Bao, a ShopeeFood driver.
|An app-based motorbike taxi driver is pictured on a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre|
Representatives from Be, Gojek, and Baemin told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that they have not planned to increase the fare.
To encourage drivers, the firms will run various reward programs to provide them with extra income.
“We are monitoring the market and other factors to come up with appropriate policies that will benefit both drivers and customers,” a Gojek representative said.
“Changes to fares will certainly affect our customers.”
A ShopeeFood representative said the company has just launched a fuel incentive package exclusively for its delivery partners.
The package is available to all ShopeeFood drivers from March 11 to May 31.
A representative from Grab, which has already raised the rates of all services, stated that increase would help drivers partially offset operating costs and encourage them to work more.
However, the company has also offered many discounts to customers from March 11 to 31.
Petrol prices in Vietnam reached a new high on Friday afternoon after the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade adjusted them upward for the seventh consecutive time this year.
The price of E5RON92 gasoline jumped VND2,910/liter to VND28,980/liter, while that of RON95-III fuel climbed VND2,990/liter to VND29,820/liter. ($1 = VND22,873)