Big news for the few of you who can afford to not only take taxis, but to book them too! LTA has decided to ‘regulate’ the third-party taxi booking apps like GrabTaxi, Uber and EasyTaxi.
Nobody knows how the regulations will affect their business, but I have been told that EasyTaxi’s interface is already affecting their business quite badly. I heard only lah, cannot confirm.
Anyway, these are the five regulations:
- Registering with the LTA. Successful applicants will be granted a certificate, which is valid for three years.
- Dispatching only licensed taxis and drivers who have valid taxi vocational licenses.
- Making clear all fare rates, surcharges, and fees payable with commuters upfront. These include the flag-down fare, distance and time rates and booking fees, as well as peak period and location surcharges. No more ‘tips’ to confirm that you can get a taxi!
- Not making it a requirement for consumers to specify their destinations before they can make bookings.
- Providing basic customer support services, including lost-and-found services and avenues for feedback or complaints.
So far all the rules seem okay right? Looks like they’re protecting the customers more than the taxi drivers.
Not sure how long the forms will be though – remember this is the gahmen we are talking about here! Five rules probably means that each driver has to fill up at least 723 pages worth of forms and provide complete details about their parents, their parents’ parents, siblings, neighbours and the coffeeshops they regularly eat at..
Hopefully the taxi drivers will continue to use the apps after these new rules and forms.