Singapore moves to regulate taxi booking apps
Singapore plans to regulate third-party taxi booking apps such as Uber by capping fees and limiting them to use only licensed vehicles and drivers.
SINGAPORE on Friday announced new rules for mobile taxi booking apps, including US-based Uber, in the latest move by governments around the world to regulate the increasingly popular services.
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority said the apps will have to apply for a three-yearly “certificate of registration” starting from the second quarter of next year.
Apps operating in Singapore will need to agree to despatch only licensed taxis and drivers, while information on fare rates and other fees payable for a ride must be disclosed to passengers.
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The apps will be barred from requiring passengers to disclose their destinations when they make bookings due to concerns some taxi drivers may try to avoid certain routes, the LTA said.
Operators are also required to provide “basic customer support”, including lost and found services and a platform for customers to file complaints.
Passengers in Singapore can only use Uber to connect to registered taxis and limousines, unlike in some other cities around the world where the app is used to hire private cars and ride-share to cut fares.
Other similar apps operating in Singapore include Britain’s Hailo, regional player Easy Taxi and Malaysia-based GrabTaxi.
At present, these apps already comply with Singapore’s new requirement for the taxis to be licensed.