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ComfortDelGro And Carpooling App Ryde Enter A Partnership, But It's Not For What You Hoped It'd Be

ComfortDelGro taxi drivers now have a new lifeline.

The Straits Times reported today that users of local app Ryde will soon be able to book a ComfortDelGro cab, on top of its usual carpooling feature.

ComfortDelGro also revealed to The Straits Times that both sides are “in discussions” to develop the booking referral service, and the partnership will see its taxi services expanding to “some 100,000 users who are registered on the Ryde platform, among whom 70,000 are passengers and the remaining 30,000, car owners”.

But the partnership won’t mean that we could be sharing taxis, either.

ComfortDelGro’s group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan stated that it will “not be involved in the carpooling service”, in spite of Ryde founder Terence Zou telling the newspaper last week that: “In time, we will roll out more features to facilitate [taxi] sharing – such as grouping users with the same home-work route. Users can then carpool or share a taxi through our app…”

It Would Be A Pity If CDG Didn’t Take On The Pooling Option

How Ryde works / Image Credit: Asia For Good

As we’ve heard from taxi drivers last week, the presence of Uber and Grab have proven to be quite a challenge to their livelihood.

With the newcomers literally ‘spoiling the market’ with their promo codes and perks like rewards, taxi drivers are left with no choice but to play on their strengths (being able to take flag downs), or play alongside their competitors (using apps like Grab for bookings).

But even with that, taxi drivers are still feeling the crunch, as there are regulations that hold them back from having the same freedom as their private-hire counterparts.

Which is why it’ll be a pity if the new partnership didn’t see taxis being able to Ryde (pun intended) on the carpooling option that their new partner would so readily be able to provide.

Singapore riders are a price-sensitive bunch, and by giving them a cheaper option to get to, let’s say, their office in the CBD, taxi drivers could definitely see a rise in bookings then.

Because why bother ‘disrupting’ your traditional model of operations if it’s not going to significantly improve the situation for your employees?

 

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