Singapore: Gear up for higher fares as ComfortDelGro set to launch surge pricing for its cabs

ComfortDelGro's taxi business posted a 10.7% decline in revenues. ComfortDelGro

Singapore's largest taxi company ComfortDelGro is set to introduce dynamic fare pricing for its 13,600 cabs from January 19.

Dynamic pricing, also known as surge pricing, means that fares for ComfortDelGro and CityCab taxis could be lower than the metered rates during the off-peak hours, but prices would increase during periods of high demand.

Taxi operators usually opt for dynamic pricing to encourage more drivers to offer rides when demand for taxis outstrips supply.

According to a newspaper notice on Thursday, ComfortDelGro said its taxis will be available via UberFlash, a new option in the Uber application after the two firms announced a partnership last month.

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Commuters who do not wish to book their cab via UberFlash can hail taxis by the street, or book one through ComfortDelGro's app or hotline and pay a metered fare.

Other taxi operators such as Grab are already following dynamic fare pricing service in Singapore.

The latest announcement comes as ComfortDelGro tries to beat competition from private-hire car operators. The company announced a S$642 million tie-up with Uber to expand its mobility services.

The Competition Commission of Singapore is reviewing the proposed collaboration between ComfortDelGro and Uber Technologies to see if the merger would result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market in Singapore.

Shares in ComfortDelGro rose 0.5 percent at S$2.02 on the Singapore Exchange. Stocks has lost 16 percent in a year.

This article was first published on January 12, 2018