ComfortDelGro, the largest taxi operator, has joined the rest of the taxi industry in partnering a third-party booking app, with a new booking service to launch on homegrown carpooling service Ryde next week.
In a joint press release with the taxi operator, Ryde said that it had received the Third Party Taxi Booking Certificate from the Land Transport Authority on Wednesday (May 24). User acceptance tests are still being carried out, but starting next week, Ryde users will be able to book a Comfort or a CityCab taxi through the app.
Fares for the new service will be no different from fares charged on ComfortDelGro’s app, which started offering a flat fee option last month, apart from metered fees.
The flat fare is computed ahead of a trip, taking into account the distance to be travelled and existing surcharges.
The other five taxi operators - SMRT Taxis, Prime Taxi, Premier Taxis, Trans-Cab and HDT Singapore Taxi - partnered third-party booking app Grab to launch dynamic pricing in March.
Prices for JustGrab, the dynamic pricing feature in the Grab app, will depend on factors such as real-time demand and supply, travel time and distance.
On the latest tie-up with ComfortDelGro, Ryde founder Terence Zou said: “We are immensely excited to share our platform with the largest taxi operator in Singapore. With this partnership, Ryde will be able to improve user experience when users cannot find a suitable carpooling option.”
Mr Ang Wei Neng, ComfortDelGro Taxi chief executive, added: “We are glad to partner Ryde to offer the commuters more choices to book our taxis. Ryde users also have a choice of both the flat fare and metered fare. The carpooling service, however, is not something on the cards immediately.”
ComfortDelGro’s group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan added that the tie-up with Ryde provides them with an additional avenue to reach out to commuters.
Ryde will now offer two services: An existing option for private-hire carpooling and a new option to book a taxi, paying either a flat fare or a metered fare.
Talks with between the two companies started in March, and a partnership agreement was signed only last month. Since then, Ryde has been working on integrating its network with the taxi operator’s booking system.
Bookings through the app will show up seamlessly on cabbies’ monitors mounted in their vehicles, with no additional training required for the taxi drivers.
For every booking that cabbies get through the new service, ComfortDelGro will pay Ryde a referral fee, although Mr Zou declined to share the exact figure.
Asked about future plans for Ryde, Mr Zou said that the start-up would be offering cashless payments from next month, and could venture into offering limousine services and airport transfers later.
Ryde has some 30,000 cars in its fleet, whereas ComfortDelGro has about 16,000 taxis.