Singapore: LTA, PTC give taxis green signal to adopt surge pricing system

The committee accepted the proposals submitted by taxi companies requesting for the introduction of dynamic fixed fares.

  • Updated
Honda invests in Grab taxi
grab taxi logo Grab

The Singapore's Land Transport Authority and the Public Transport Council have given the green signal for taxi companies to use surge pricing systems. The committee accepted the proposals submitted by taxi companies, like Grab, requesting for the introduction of dynamic fixed fares on rides booked through mobile apps.

As a result, now consumers can get the total fare of their ride up front, just like Uber or Grab app. The pricing is subject to change depending on the demands and availabilities. Following this SMRT Taxis, one of the largest in the country has collaborated with Grab Taxi to use their service as its exclusive third-party booking app (apart from SMRT's own app). "The market has evolved and matured significantly, and more customers are now open to having dynamic fixed fares for their taxi rides. This partnership with Grab allows us to keep the pricing for our services competitive, catering to different customer needs and preferences," said Tony Heng, managing director for SMRT Taxis, in a statement.

Meanwhile, according to Channel News Asia, Grab will be the first to offer dynamic fixed fares for taxis. The new service will be called JustGrab. "It will assign either a taxi or a private-hire car to the user, depending on which driver picks up the booking. The fee structure will be the same one used by GrabCar," the report added.

"We are working on a new product that will enable commuters to book a dynamic fixed fare taxi ride using our app. We'll share more details soon. Dynamic fixed fare connects taxi drivers to a growing pool of commuters who prefer fare certainty provided by services like GrabCar. We believe this additional option provides drivers with more job opportunities," a Grab spokesperson told Tech in Asia.

Even in the last week's Parliament session, Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng highlighted the importance to innovate and adapt to new market conditions and competition for the taxi industry. "But importantly, before any journey begins, commuters will know exactly how much their fare would be. They can then choose to accept or decline the offer. For commuters who prefer more familiarity, they will have the traditional option to book a taxi," he assured.

This article was first published on March 17, 2017