SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro announced on Tuesday (May 7) it will pilot a new booking service called ComfortRIDE that allows passengers to book rides with fixed fares set based on demand at the time of booking.
In a statement, the taxi operator said that it will begin pilot testing ComfortRIDE on the existing ComfortDelGro Taxi Booking App on May 15. The service will be available at first to a small group of passengers and may be extended to more passengers on a later date.
With the pilot, passengers can use the app to choose between a traditional metered taxi option and the new ComfortRIDE option which will despatch either a taxi or possibly in the future, a private-hire vehicle.
ComfortRIDE, which will only be applicable for current bookings, will see fares adjust according to market demand and supply, said ComfortDelGro.
"Peak demand fares will, however, be monitored and any surges, will be limited and not exponential. The fares will conversely be lower during off peak," said the company.
ComfortDelGro said that the service will bring together its 12,000-strong fleet of cabs and possibly private-hire vehicles to help ease the supply crunch, such as that experienced on rainy days.
"Our volume of booking jobs for 2018 has increased by 7.4 per cent and is still experiencing an uptick in the first four months of 2019," said ComfortDelGro Taxi CEO Ang Wei Neng.
"The aim of ComfortRIDE is to meet the demand especially during peak hours. With more taxis on the roads during peak hours, commuters will be confirmed a vehicle faster and their waiting time will be reduced.
"This will create demand, so our cabbies can look forward to better earning opportunities and less empty cruising," he added.
ComfortDelGro taxi driver Tan Soon Huat called the service a "win-win situation as it means less waiting time for passengers eventually and more jobs for ComfortDelGro cabbies".