Singapore’s SMRT Taxis and Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab have announced an exclusive partnership deal under which all SMRT taxi drivers will use only Grab’s ride-hailing app for third-party taxi bookings.
Both companies are also collaborating to offer customers dynamic fixed fares for taxi trips booked via Grab.
The dynamic fixed fare scheme, via a new Grab service which will launch soon, lets customers know the fare for their intended trip before the start of the journey. Dynamic fixed fares are displayed upfront, and already account for travel time, distance, booking fees, and real-time demand and supply for taxis.
SMRT taxi drivers who accept bookings via this new Grab service will enjoy fixed, competitive fares for their service.
Metered fares will continue to apply for street-hail pickups as well as phone and GrabTaxi bookings.
Tony Heng, managing director for SMRT Taxis and Private Hire Services, explained that the market has evolved and matured significantly, and more customers are now open to having dynamic fixed fares for their taxi rides.
“This partnership with Grab allows us to keep the pricing for our services competitive, catering to different customer needs and preferences,” Heng said. “In addition to our SMRT Taxi booking app and hotline, Grab’s platform will expand our taxi hirers’ access to meeting customer demands.”
Melvin Vu, Head of GrabTaxi Singapore said that Grab has been engaging with Singapore authorities since December on implementing dynamic fixed fares for taxis.
“The current taxi fare model does not account for real-time passenger demand and driver supply, which often means that passengers pay a surcharge even when there are many available taxis within the vicinity,” Vu said. “Dynamic fixed fares ensure that taxis are better utilized throughout the day and passengers enjoy more affordable rides based on real-time market demands, while not eliminating metered fares. We look forward to working with SMRT Taxis and our partnering operators to start bringing the benefits of dynamic fixed fares to the community soon.”
As part of the exclusive partnership, SMRT taxi drivers who are new to Grab (including SMRT Taxi Share drivers) will be incentivized to use Grab’s booking platform to complement their street-hail pickups. New SMRT taxi drivers will undergo training to help familiarize them with the Grab app and learn about Grab’s safety guidelines and expected code of conduct.
The SMRT deal also expands the reach of Grab’s fleet network of over 100,000 drivers spanning across all its services, including GrabTaxi, GrabCar and GrabHitch.
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