In a statement released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) today, the authorities have laid down the ground rules for third party taxi app companies to operate in Singapore, putting out a list of rules which includes requiring taxi apps to only allow taxi drivers with valid taxi drivers’ vocational licenses to serve customers.
The companies must also specify all information on fare rates and surcharges payable for the journey upfront to commuters and not require commuters to specify their destinations before making bookings.
These regulations are stipulated under the new Third-Party Taxi Booking Service Providers Act, which states that services with more than 20 participating taxis are required to register with the LTA.
The LTA requires all taxi booking service providers to apply for registration certificates to operate their apps in Singapore by this year end or face $10,000 fines or up to 6 months jail should they continue to operate illegally. Companies that have been operating prior to 1st September 2015 need to register themselves by 1st December, while new entrants such as Karhoo and ConnexTaxi will need to wait for approval from the LTA.
Two existing service providers, Grab Taxi and Hailo, have received registration certificates to operate their apps in Singapore. The certificates are valid for three years starting Dec 1. Another two existing providers, UberTAXI and MoobiTaxi, have submitted applications which are currently being processed, LTA said.
An application by new provider PAIR Taxi has been rejected as its fare model did not meet the fare charging conditions stipulated in the regulatory framework, LTA said.