Taxi operators get green light to implement surge pricing

Taxi operators get green light to implement surge pricing
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Taxi operators here have been given the green light to implement the controversial surge pricing system, which subjects fares to demand.

The Land Transport Authority and Public Transport Council said in a joint statement today (March 17) they have "no objections to the proposals" submitted by taxi companies and Grab on the fare structure also known as dynamic pricing.

The authorities were informed that this will be introduced as an additional option for commuters to book a taxi, on top of the current metered fare taxi bookings.

Grab and SMRT Taxis today announced a partnership to roll out the surge pricing system for bookings made via Grab soon.

Metered fares will continue to apply for street-hail pickups as well as phone and GrabTaxi bookings, the companies said.

Grab is also working with Trans-Cab, Premier and HDT to introduce surge pricing.

Read also: Older cabbies not keen on surge pricing

Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro will not implement surge pricing for now.

"Instead, we will introduce a flat fare structure which will be similar to our taxi metered fares for trips booked via our mobile applications. This new fare option will roll out in about two to three weeks' time," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Surge pricing, used by private-hire car services offered by Grab and Uber, has drawn flak for being exorbitant when demand is high. During off-peak hours, however, dynamic fares are usually lower than metered fares.

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