SINGAPORE: Ride-hailing app Grab is bringing taxis onboard its commercial carpool service GrabShare, it announced on Tuesday (May 9).
In a news release, Grab said from May 16, passengers who book a GrabShare will either be assigned a fixed fare taxi or car for sharing – whichever that is best matched to the passenger’s destination.
Previously, the service that pairs two passenger bookings for a cheaper ride at a fixed rate only offered rides by private hire cars.
The addition of taxis to the fleet of carpooling vehicles will provide passengers with faster bookings and shorter waiting times, Grab said in the news release.
Taxi drivers under HDT Taxis, Premier Taxis, Trans-cab and SMRT are eligible for GrabShare and can opt in for the service after attending training, the company added.
Taxi-sharing was introduced to Singapore in 1997 when the Land Transport Authority launched a taxi-sharing service, Share-a-Cab, that allowed commuters to share taxis through information panels at selected taxi stands. The service has since been discontinued.
“Grab is excited to bring taxi-sharing back to Singapore through our platform,” Head of GrabTaxi Singapore Melvin Vu said.
Mr Vu said that since launching GrabShare in December, the company has been studying trip data and refining their matching algorithm to better match passengers with similar routes to the nearest available driver.
"We are confident that the combined strengths of taxis and cars will result in greater transport efficiency while creating more income opportunities for driver-partners."
According to Mr Vu, taxi drivers using the platform reported a 30 per cent increase in ride bookings since the launch of its fixed-fare booking service JustGrab in March.
Grab said its JustGrab service alone has brought 92,000 additional ride bookings to taxi drivers, worth over S$1.1 million in fares, on a daily basis.