Commuters in Singapore will now have to shell out more money as taxi companies have been given permission to introduce surge pricing, for trips booked through mobile applications.
On Friday, Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Public Transport Council (PTC) issued a joint statement stating that they have accepted proposals from taxi companies and popular ride-hailing platform Grab.
“The companies have informed the LTA and PTC that this will be introduced as an additional option for commuters to book a taxi, on top of the current metered fare taxi bookings,” the statement said. “We have no objections to the proposals."
Surge pricing will make the price of a taxi trip costlier according to the demand on the roads at the time. This means that commuters will pay more during peak hour and high-demand.
Grab, currently the only platform offering this price model, has announced that it will launch a new service with surge pricing for taxis with fixed, upfront pricing. This differs from its current taxi-booking service, GrabTaxi, which charges metered fares.
Though taxi services are being regulated by the LTA, taxi companies have been able to set their own fares since 1998. However, in 2016, the companies were required to standardise some parts of the fares.