Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng has stated that several taxi companies have written to the Public Transport Council (PTC) expressing their wish to introduce dynamic pricing for taxi fares, for booked trips and added that the Council is currently discussing with the taxi companies for the details of their proposals.
However, he said that in general, commuters who book their taxis through mobile apps will have one more option. They can choose either the current booking method with metered fares, or a new option where fares are determined using dynamic pricing, and agreed between the taxi company and the commuter before the trip begins (much like Uber and Grab services).
“With this new option, the fares may sometimes be higher than metered fares, but they can also be lower. It will depend on supply and demand,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“We understand that some commuters may be uncomfortable with the taxi companies’ plans. This initial reaction is not unexpected,” he said.
However, he noted that those who prefer not to use this new option can still choose to pay for a booked taxi by the meter. Likewise for street-hail commuters, where dynamic pricing does not apply.
“With competition from Uber and Grab, this will likely keep fares reasonable. Taxi companies should ensure that dynamic pricing improves and not worsen the matching of supply to demand of taxi services,” the Minister added.
He then said that the Government would have an opportunity to discuss this further during the debate on Ministry of Transport, Singapore’s Budget later this week.