Going across the causeway? You can no longer book a GrabHitch between JB and Singapore

Grab has ceased its cross-border ride-sharing service run under GrabHitch.

If you were planning on booking a ride-sharing service from Singapore to Johor Baru this weekend, you should probably reconsider your transport options beforehand.

A cross-border ride-sharing service run by Grab has ceased, a year after its pilot run was first launched.

On its website, the Singapore tech company confirmed that all cross-border operations for GrabHitch were ceased on June 21 this year.

A Grab rider who contacted Business Insider on July 17 said that he had sent Grab’s customer support a message when he realised he could no longer choose a drop-off point in JB via the app.

Screengrab provided by Grab customer

A Grab representative then informed him that the cross-border service had been disabled. “This is because Malaysia has stopped using GrabHitch,” the representative wrote.

Screengrab provided by Grab customer

When contacted, Grab’s spokesperson told Business Insider that the GrabHitch JB-SG service was no longer being operated as its pilot programme had ended.

“The GrabHitch JB-SG service is no longer operating as we have recently concluded this cross-border pilot programme.”

“The objective of this pilot programme is to explore the use of innovative transport services to improve cross border connectivity. We are now focusing on analysing the results from the pilot test,” the spokesperson said.

Grab first launched the GrabHitch JB-SG service on June 20, 2016.

The scheme initially priced carpool rides from as low as RM 9. For example, a GrabHitch ride from JB’s City Square to Woodlands was priced at RM 9, while a ride from Singapore’s Woodlands to JB’s City Square was priced at $9.

However, the scheme was changed when Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) warned that a paid service such as this would violate laws in both Singapore and Malaysia.

As a result, Grab changed the scheme to a fare-free pilot programme so riders could book a carpool service to travel between Singapore and JB for free.

After the fare-free pilot programme ended in July 2016, Grab said via its website that customers would be able to continue booking cross-border GrabHitch rides without paying a fare. Nonetheless, an amount displayed on the booking screen would inform the rider of the minimum cost borne by the GrabHitch driver for the trip.

“Drivers would appreciate a gratuity to cover some of his costs. However, passengers are not required to pay the sum,” Grab said on its website.

Screengrab from Grab website

According to LTA, it is illegal for Malaysian registered cars to provide hire and reward services in Singapore without a valid licence. Similarly, Singapore registered cars are also not allowed to provide such services in Malaysia without valid licences issued by Malaysian authorities.