Singapore-based Grab in introducing taxi-sharing service in Singapore via its cab-sharing service GrabShare. Grab’s commercial carpool service pairs two passenger bookings for a cheaper ride at a fixed fare. Now, with the rolling out of this service, the commuters will be assigned a fixed fare taxi or car for sharing, based on the passenger’s destination. This inclusion of taxis in the GrabShare will begin 16 May onwards.
Taxi-sharing first came into existence in Singapore in 1997 when Land Transport Authority introduced ‘Share-a-Cab’ initiative. It enabled passengers to share taxis information panels at selected taxi stands. However, it got discontinued as it failed to generate as sharing cabs with strangers didn’t quite strike a chord with Singaporeans.
Since then, no one has really explored this space yet. An app named PairTaxi tried bringing taxi-sharing in the Central Business District but it failed to obtain an LTA license to operate. The reason behind this was its fare model, which did not meet the fare-charging conditions stipulated in the regulatory framework. Melvin Vu, Head of GrabTaxi Singapore, Grab, commented,
We are confident that the combined strengths of taxis and cars will result in greater transport efficiency while creating more income opportunities for driver-partners.
GrabShare fares are up to 30 percent cheaper than individual rides and only pairs up two users bookings. Also, the passengers can bring one more person on the ride at no additional cost, and both must share the same pick-up and drop-off locations. Another service of Grab, GrabHitch, allows regular folks to pick up riders who are going along the same route.
The Singapore-based cab aggregator mentions that GrabShare offers an additional income source for taxi driver-partners, on top of existing services including JustGrab’s fixed-fare bookings and GrabTaxi’s metered-fare rides. Taxi driver-partners on GrabShare can expect to boost their earnings by up to 40 percent if completing more jobs at a given time. Vu was quoted saying,
For example, with JustGrab, taxi-driver partners have already reported a 30 percent increase in ride bookings and $220 more earnings per week. We want to continue innovating to better serve driver-partners and passengers and contributing to Singapore’s world-class transport network.
Taxi drivers under HDT Taxis, Premier Taxis, Trans-cab, and SMRT are eligible for GrabShare. They will have to undergo driver training prior to opting in for the service. The taxi driver-partners will avail incentives including a 1.5 times fare top-up and zero levy on all shared bookings in this month.