Singapore

Third-party taxi booking apps making their way to Singapore

Third-party taxi booking apps making their way to Singapore
TODAY file photo
Published: 4:02 AM, November 14, 2013
Updated: 4:00 AM, November 15, 2013
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Major taxi operators here charge a booking fee of S$3.30 during peak periods and S$2.30 for the rest of the day. About 30 cents to 50 cents of each booking fee goes to the operators.

Out of seven taxi drivers TODAY spoke to, two said they are using GrabTaxi, while the others have not heard of it. One of the users, Mr Tan Chun Seng, 58, said he wanted to expand his booking base. The other drivers said they were not keen to use the app as they were not tech savvy.

Transport experts noted that, in time to come, third-party booking apps could be hard to regulate. The LTA must exercise some control over the pricing, “otherwise market forces will dictate” and lead to overcharging, said National University of Singapore transport economist Anthony Chin.

GrabTaxi said it is in discussions with taxi operators to work out an arrangement that the latter will be happy with. ComfortDelGro, which owns the largest fleet of taxis here, said it will “definitely consider” working with third-party booking apps, which will bring in more jobs for its drivers.

The beta launch of GrabTaxi came a month after the MoobiTaxi app was made available for download. Unlike GrabTaxi, MoobiTaxi — which became one of the top five apps on iTunes within a week of its launch — integrates its booking system with those of taxi operators’.

It is understood that another third-party booking app, Easy Taxi — launched earlier this year in Malaysia — will also enter the market here by the end of the month.

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