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Regulations for taxi booking apps in Singapore in the works

Nurdianah Md Nur | Nov. 6, 2014
The rules aim to protect the safety and interests of commuters, according to the republic’s Senior Minister of State (Finance) and Transport.

The increasing number of third-party taxi booking apps and their popularity are finally getting noticed by Singapore's transport regulator, the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

While such apps are "currently allowed to operate in Singapore without regulation", some rules might be necessary "to protect the safety, interest of commuters," Senior Minister of State (Finance and Transport) Josephine Teo told the parliament yesterday (4 November 2014). The LTA is thus currently studying basic regulations to oversee those apps.

There are at least four third-party taxi booking apps in the market today: Grab Taxi, Uber, Easy Taxi, and Hailo. While these apps provide an additional means of making bookings and a more efficient matching of taxis with commuters, they "do not increase the supply of taxis per se," said Teo."Hence, these apps will not help during peak hours and inclement weather," she explained.  

She added that the taxi availability framework would still be necessary. The framework essentially stipulates the percentage of the operators' fleet that should ply the roads during peak periods and minimum daily mileage for each of their cab drivers.

 

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