The taxi operator ComfortDelGro from Singapore announced yesterday (January 28) that it is expanding its fleet by 25 private rental cars as part of a hail attempt.
These cars are not allowed to rent the street but can be booked from February 4th.
This means that ComfortDelGro users can book a taxi or either a taxi or a private rental car in the app. This is similar to the JustGrab option in the rival Grab mobile app.
In terms of pricing, ComfortDelGro said it follows ComfortRIDE’s current tariff structure.
It added that the commission fee for the booking jobs will be lower than the market price during the test, which means more income for those who join the program early.
ComfortDelGro is currently Singapore’s largest taxi company with over 10,000 cabins. By adding more private cars, the company can quickly expand its fleet without actually owning the vehicles.
After the trial period ends in March, ComfortDelGro will evaluate the response to the service and gradually open it up to more private rental car drivers.
Not the first rodeo in ride hailing
That news came after ComfortDelGro was granted a three-year license to operate a hail shipping service under the new P2P law for passenger transport last October.
This bill aims to regulate fares and make them “transparent” with clear pricing guidelines.
Photo credit: Vulcan Post
ComfortDelGro had made an earlier entry into the hail shipping market in late 2017 when it teamed up with hail giant Uber to enable booking of ComfortDelGro taxis through the Uber app.
The partnership failed, however, when Grab announced that Uber would take over the Southeast Asia business.
This new hail attempt could be a way for the taxi operator to cope with the losses it suffered from the decline in driver numbers during COVID-19.
According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the demand for journeys is around 70 percent of prepandemic.
Some drivers also reported a drop in income of up to 70 percent during the “breaker” phase as tourist numbers fell and many people worked from home.
However, this new service would definitely help increase the number of trips available to commuters and consequently increase the number of taxi drivers.
Selected image source: ComfortDelGro