SINGAPORE - Commuters who make a booking on the Ryde app can soon get their taxi fares upfront - as opposed to going by the meter.
The ride-hailing platform announced on Thursday (Aug 2) that it had been granted a Class 1 third-party taxi booking service by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The move comes after Grab introduced JustGrab in March last year, which allowed users to book taxis with upfront dynamic pricing, where prices increase or decrease based on demand.
In a statement, Ryde, which started as a carpooling platform in 2015, said it intended to bring some 7,000 taxi drivers on board its RydeX ride-hailing service. This would reduce waiting times for commuters to an average of four minutes, down from five currently, it added.
The firm, which previously partnered ComfortDelGro to allow taxi bookings through the Ryde app, said it was open to working with all taxi operators.
It added: "Ryde is seeking approval from the Public Transport Council (PTC) for taxis to accept Ryde's dynamic fixed fares and expects to roll out the RydeX feature to all taxi drivers by September. The PTC approval could take up to 28 days."
Ryde's chief executive Terence Zou said the firm was "excited to play a part" in the transformation of Singapore's point-to-point transportation sector.
"The taxi industry has undergone unprecedented change over the past three years. It has evolved from a traditional metered fare structure to a dynamically priced one," he said.
"This is more efficient as it better incentivises supply to match demand during peak periods as opposed to meter pricing with discrete peak-hour surcharges."