Government to review private car-sharing apps such as Uber: Khaw Boon Wan

SPH Brightcove Video
Third-party taxi apps have caused much debate lately. Singapore has not yet adopted a protectionist stance against taxi apps though.

The Straits Times' senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan tells digital news editor Ernest Luis what lies at the crux of this debate - having more consumer choices, levelling of the playing field, and the possibility of regulation.
An Uber logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle. The Singapore Government will be reviewing private car-sharing apps such as Uber. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - The Government will be reviewing private car-sharing apps such as Uber, newly-appointed Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced in a blog post on Friday (Oct 2).

Mr Khaw said he had assigned Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng to consult taxi drivers and the general public to "forge a fair solution".

In his blog entry titled "Sharing economy in transition", Mr Khaw shared that a number of taxi drivers had informed him during the recent general election campaign that uberX was unfair, as its drivers do not require a vocational licence as they drive private hire cars.

"While taxi drivers welcome competition, they demand that the playing field be level. I think our taxi drivers have a point," he wrote.

"We must not resist new innovations and new business models. Our instinct must be to flow with the time, keep an open mind to innovations.

"But we must always be fair to players, whether incumbent or insurgents, and strike a balanced approach."

Read his full blog post here.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.