ComfortDelGro taxi bookings jump 9% in May following Uber's exit from South-east Asia

ComfortDelGro's taxi bookings grew by close to 9 per cent year on year in May - the biggest year-on-year jump since September 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - In what seems to cement a turnaround for the taxi industry since the emergence of private-hire cars five years ago, cab operator ComfortDelGro reported a surge in bookings on Wednesday (June 6).

In May 2018, its taxi bookings grew by close to 9 per cent year on year. This is the biggest year-on-year jump since a 9.1 per cent growth in September 2014, it said. The company did not wish to disclose the absolute figure "for competitive reasons".

The turnaround in bookings has come on the back of Uber's exit from the South-east Asia region as well as ComfortDelGro's concerted efforts, including the rolling out of marketing promotions for passengers in recent months.

Promo codes, which offered passengers $3 off their flat fares when they book via the ComfortDelGro App during off peak hours, were the most popular, it added in a statement.

An $8 discount promotion, which was usable on rides from the city and taken between 1am and 5am, was equally well-received.

In all, about 57,000 promo codes were redeemed.

Mr Ang Wei Neng, chief executive of ComfortDelGro Taxi, said: "We have been rolling out very targeted booking promotions and this, we believe, has helped to boost demand.

"At the same time, we are also giving our cabbies weekly incentives to reward them for actively taking booking jobs so that passengers can get their taxis even faster."

The taxi giant said bookings had grown in the first five months. The cumulative figure for the January-May period was a two-year high of 12.1 million - 0.8 per cent up from the 12 million booked over the same period last year.

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