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Gojek to launch option to book metered fare taxis using its app by first half of 2021

SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing firm Gojek is looking to roll out a suite of new services in Singapore in the first half of next year, including a dedicated option to book metered fare taxis directly from the firm’s app.

Gojek to launch option to book metered fare taxis using its app by first half of 2021

Gojek said it is planning to roll out a suite of new services in Singapore in the first half of 2021.

  • Gojek said it is planning to roll out several new services in Singapore in the first half of 2021
  • One such service means riders will be able to use a dedicated feature on the Gojek app to book taxis
  • Riders using this option will be charged a metered fare, not a fixed fare
  • Gojek is also looking at offering XL or extra large six- or seven-seat vehicles for riders needing them

 

SINGAPORE — Ride-hailing firm Gojek is looking to roll out a suite of new services in Singapore in the first half of next year, including a dedicated option to book metered fare taxis directly from the firm’s app.

The moves were announced at a virtual media event on Thursday (Nov 26) to mark the Indonesian technology company's second anniversary of entering Singapore.

Previously, ride-hailing operators would have to sign agreements with different taxis to list their drivers on the platform, Gojek’s general manager Lien Choong Luen told reporters.

With the new licensing framework for the point-to-point transport sector from Oct 30, taxi drivers are now legally allowed to sign up with any ride-hailing company. Previously, no regulation was in place on this matter.

Gojek had last year expanded its fleet through a partnership with Trans-Cab, which at the time was the second-largest operator here. Under the new framework, such partnerships are no longer needed for taxi drivers to hop on ride-hail apps while continuing to take street-hail jobs.

“It makes a lot of sense for us to then have a dedicated taxi service as well, if the commuters choose to want to specifically have a taxi ride,” Mr Lien said.

Riders booking a taxi with Gojek’s planned offering will be charged a metered fare rather than a fixed fare.

On top of the dedicated taxi booking option, the ride-hailing company’s other plans for Singapore include an option to book larger six- or seven-seat vehicles and a “convenient transport platform for corporates”.

Mr Lien said the so-called “XL (extra large)” booking will bring more convenience to families needing larger vehicles and that Gojek will be “partnering with corporates in order to deliver a corporate solution for their employees”.

In December 2018, TODAY reported that rival firm Grab was planning an on-demand booking service for larger vehicles, such as seven- or 13 seaters, where riders would be matched with others going in the same direction and fares would be lower than its carpooling service GrabShare but costlier than public transport.

Last week, Singapore’s competition watchdog lifted its directives on Grab, allowing it to adjust its fares, driver commission rates and make changes to its other service offerings.

Asked whether this had any implications for Gojek, Mr Lien said he was not concerned as the new ride-hail operator service licence already builds in a lot of safeguards.

“That really does mean that the overall ecosystem or the overall space we are playing in is quite well regulated, and some of those previous safeguards were superseded,” he said.

The ride-hailing firm on Thursday also released the findings of a 10-month mobility study conducted by the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University using data provided by Gojek, which concluded in October.

Among its key findings was that after the circuit breaker period, a larger proportion of total trips began and ended in a residential area, an increase of nearly 10 per cent compared with before that period.

More people were also making trips to hospitals, sports and recreational venues after the circuit breaker, reflecting the types of activities people engaged in during a pandemic.

Gojek, regarded as a super-app in its home country Indonesia, provides several on-demand options there, including massage and cleaning services.

Asked whether Gojek will introduce other services besides ride-hailing in Singapore, Mr Lien would only say that that will always remain a “commercial decision” and that the firm will continue to evaluate such options.

“It’s something that we do look at very carefully,” he said. “Singapore is a very mature market, it’s a challenging market, so while there are lots of upsides, it’s also not an easy nut to crack.”

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Gojek ride-hailing taxi

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