Singapore ponders over new transport bill to regulate fares charged by ride-hailing operators

Singapore sets up further plans to regulate the ride-hailing sector.

Singapore roads

The Point-to-Point Passenger Transport Industry Bill was brought up for discussion in Singapore’s parliament yesterday. If passed, the new transport bill will provide the Public Transport Council (PTC) the discretion to regulate pricing policy for fares charged by ride-hailing operators such as Grab and Go-jek, reports The Straits Times. 

Under the bill, ride-hailing operators may have to disclose how they calculate fares. Maximum and minimum fare ranges are also expected to be set by the PTC.

Currently, ride-hailing operators are free to set their own fares and are not required to disclose the algorithms that determine fares based on numerous factors. Price surges during peak hours and bad weather are common occurrences and a frequent complaint from riders. The new bill reflects the public’s call to regulate the pricing strategy of the ride-hailing operators.

“The [point-to-point] transport sector in Singapore, made up of the taxi and private-hire car industries, has evolved significantly in the last few years. Given these changes, the [Land Transport Authority] has reviewed the regulations for [this] sector to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of Singaporeans and our broader transport objectives,” said a Transport Ministry spokesman on Monday.

The bill will be debated in Parliament again next month. Industry players expect the new bill, if passed, to create a more level playing field for taxi operators who have lost market share as ride-hailing services became more popular.