Grab launches trial in Yangon, as Uber says it will enter market ‘very soon’

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing service, has launched a trial in Yangon amid reports that global competitor Uber is also eyeing the Myanmar market.

A beta trial of the service involving taxi drivers was launched in Yangon on March 21, Grab said in a news release that expressed support for the government’s vision of making the city’s transport system more efficient.

Yangon is reported to be the 35th Southeast Asian city in which the Singapore-headquartered company has launched its ride-hailing GrabTaxi service, which enables passengers to book taxis on-demand using a mobile app.

“As a start, we will focus on improving driver service and safety standards for taxis in Yangon,” said Ms Cheryl Goh, Grab’s group vice president of marketing.

“We are committed to work with the taxi industry and other transport stakeholders during our GrabTaxi beta trial, and work together to test and improve our taxi service to both drivers and passengers,” she said.

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Goh said Grab’s strict driver screening and training processes would ensure that drivers provided a safe and quality service.

In a statement released on March 21, San Francisco-based Uber Technologies indicated that the launch of its ride-hailing service in Yangon was imminent.

Uber said it was “very pleased with the progress we have made toward a partnership with the government in Yangon and look forward to introducing our ridesharing technology in the country very soon,” Reuters reported.

Yangon Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein was quoted as saying in January that the regional government was in talks with Uber about offering its service in the city.

Grab and Uber will be competing against Myanmar ride-hailing start-ups, Hello Cabs and Oway Group.

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