Earlier this week, Grab had announced that its social-carpooling service GrabHitch will be offered as a secondary option to commuters on JustGrab. Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement last night (August 16) that it was assessing "if it complies with the regulations.”
According to a report by Todayonline on Tuesday, Grab plans to offer GrabHitch rides to commuters when all taxis or private-hire cars are taken and there is a suitable match. This is expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
With regards to this, LTA commented that while GrabHitch rides are “carpooling trips” exempted from regulations that apply to private-hire car services, certain conditions must be followed. For example, each driver is limited to two carpooling trips a day. “The fees collected for each carpooling trip should also not exceed what is required to cover the costs incurred for making that trip,” the LTA spokesperson added.
GrabHitch drivers are private-car owners offering lifts to passengers at “not-for-profit” fees to cover drivers’ petrol costs. These rides have to be booked in advance, and the drivers are not required to attain the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence.
Under the initiative to offer these rides as a secondary option, riders still pay GrabHitch fares –which are between 20 per cent and 40 per cent lower than taxi fares. The company also stressed that the arrangement was “within regulatory guidelines,” according to the report.
The move will also increase the pool of vehicles available to commuters to more than 100,000 – which is double of the number of vehicles back when JustGrab launched in March, said Lim Kell Jay, Grab’s Singapore country head.