Uber pricing: LTA replies

We refer to the report on Uber's surge pricing during July 7's disruption on the North-South and East-West MRT lines ("MRT disruption puts strain on buses, taxis"; July 8).

The Land Transport Authority has followed up with Uber and confirmed that surge pricing was used only for its chauffeured vehicle booking services (Uber Executive and uberX), and not its taxi booking service (uberTaxi).

Under the Third-Party Taxi Booking Service Providers Act, which is expected to come into effect soon after being passed in Parliament in May, taxi-booking fees charged by service providers cannot exceed those charged by taxi companies. Third-party taxi service providers which do not comply with the regulatory framework are liable to penalties of up to $100,000 per contravention.

The existing third-party taxi booking service providers are already complying with this requirement, even ahead of the regulations coming into effect.

In addition, the service standards of taxi drivers are regulated via the Taxi Driver's Vocational Licence (TDVL) framework, and these apply regardless of whether the taxi is hailed on the street or booked through a taxi company or a third-party taxi booking service.

The TDVL framework provides for sanctions for overcharging, as well as other inappropriate behaviour, such as verbally insulting, intimidating or harassing a commuter.

Chauffeured vehicle services can only be pre-booked. Commuters should find out the fares and conditions that they will be subjected to before they agree to accept the chauffeured service.

With a range of service providers offering different booking and fare options, commuters can choose what they are comfortable with.

Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations Land Transport Authority

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2015, with the headline 'Uber pricing: LTA replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe