Ride-hailing operators in Singapore can continue to set dynamic pricing under the newly-passed point-to-point (P2P) Passenger Transport Industry Bill, reports Channel News Asia.
Under the new bill, all ride-hailing service providers with a fleet bigger than 800 vehicles will have to apply for a “ride-hail” license starting from June 2020.
Taxi operators have to apply for the “street-hail” license while service providers with a fleet smaller than 800 vehicles are exempted from applying for any of the two licenses.
Any operator or person found providing service without a license may face a fine of up to SGD 10,000 (USD 7,228) or imprisonment of up to six months, or both. A further fine of up to SGD 500 may be imposed on the convicted each day that the offense continues.
The regulation regarding fares covers both flat and dynamic pricing.
Licensed ride-hailing operators are required to provide flat fares for bookings although they are allowed to set them independently from each other.
On the other hand, dynamic pricing will not be regulated and the Singapore Government is in favor of operators continuing to promote such pricing.
“Dynamic fares have allowed better matching of supply and demand [and] this allows commuters to have a range of options at different price points,” said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary at a Parliamentary session on Tuesday.
A fellow Member of Parliament Joan Pereira suggested that there should be an upper limit in order to protect the riders’ interests.
However, Puthucheary insisted that it should be left to market forces, implying a go-ahead for operators to set dynamic pricing as they wish. There will also be no maximum and minimum fares set by the government. In this regard Singapore sets itself apart from neighbors like Indonesia which has introduced such price limits fares for ride-hailing.
The two major ride-hailing firms in Singapore, Grab and Gojek both have their own dynamic pricing models. The country’s largest taxi operator, ComfortDelGro started trialing dynamic pricing in May this year.