Uber, the private on-demand chauffeur service that allows you to easily request for a ride with a tap of a button, has just launched a new service: UberTAXI.
Yes you heard it right. On top of the existing two options of UberEXEC and UberX cars in Singapore, Uber is opening up the Uber platform to experiment with Singapore’s taxis, bringing one more safe, reliable, and seamless option to Singapore riders.
Singapore riders might be familiar with taxi booking apps such as GrabTaxi and Easy Taxi, which essentially allow you to easily flag a taxi to your pick up location. Features available in the apps include booking history, live feed of where your taxi is, as well as a taxi driver review system.
So how is UberTAXI different?
UberTAXI allows you to get a photo and a phone number of your driver so you can identify and contact your driver. Running late? Share your location and estimated time of arrival with friends and colleagues using UberTAXI’s ‘Share my ETA’. Perhaps most importantly, at the end of a trip, there is no cash, PIN, swipe or sign. Riders simply exit and the ride is charged directly to the credit card you used when you sign up with Uber.
How UberTAXI Works
Like all services on the Uber app, you can easily select the UberTAXI option and a UberTAXI will arrive at your location. UberTAXI pricing will follow the same fare rates set out by the Land Transport Authority in Singapore, and the meter will start running at the time the taxi arrives at the pick up location. There is also a 5 minutes waiting time for customers. To experiment its receptiveness, UberTAXI is offering a 25% discount on all rides until the midnight of 30th September 2014.
“Today, we are adding the choice of UberTAXI to your app. It’s an experiment to see how we can make taxi rides in Singapore even better – starting with 25% off all UberTAXI trips for the rest of September.” – Uber Singapore.
For drivers, the new UberTAXI means helping them find more customers efficiently, increasing their utilization and earnings each day, while reducing carbon emission because they are not circling the streets looking for customers.
Would the experiment work? We would have to wait and see what happens in the next two weeks.
For flagging down a taxi, I would personally use GrabTaxi though: simply because there are enough taxis onboard GrabTaxi to respond to call requests, and because it works.
Then again, that’s just me.
In March, Uber tested its cheaper version of car fleet UberX for those whom are looking for a more affordable option, without compromising the quality and experience Uber promised to its users. The difference is that instead of a black Mercedes S Class rolling up, you will now see a Toyota Corolla or Camry curbside with UberX. And of course, when you’re finished with your UberX ride, the fare will be substantially less than what you would usually pay for.