Uber has officially ceased its operations end of yesterday, which would probably make the decision-making game of choosing Uber versus Grab much easier for most of us.
But since the news of Uber’s departure, a surge of ride-hailing service providers have emerged in Singapore in a bid to ‘grab’ a slice of the market share.
While this intense competition among the players could possibly result in a price war, this also means that our options are now no longer limited to just Grab.
Here are some alternative apps that you can consider downloading:
Jugnoo offers on-demand auto-rickshaws in India, and it is apparently the nation’s third largest ride-sharing service provider – after Uber and homegrown Ola.
Unlike the typical booking approach offered by Grab and Uber, Jugnoo brings with it a unique “reverse-bidding” ride-hailing model.
Simply said, this model will enable its drivers to bid for commuter requests.
When a rider makes a booking, drivers in the vicinity will be able to bid for the ride.
The app will then give three pricing options to the drivers: Jugnoo’s suggested price, a price 10 per cent higher, and a price 10 per cent lower.
Riders can select any one of the three bids, or they can opt to input their own price.
Their preferred bid may not necessarily boil down to the lowest cost – other factors such as the driver’s rating and the waiting time will also come into play.
It’s also important to note that drivers who bid later can only bid lower than the last lower bid. This way, market dynamics will force the fares to remain competitive.
Ultimately, this pricing system emphasises transparency; and lets both the riders and drivers have total control over how much their rides cost.
Drivers also need not pay a commission fee to Jugnoo for the first six months.
After this period, Jugnoo will take a 10 per cent cut from each ride – the same percentage it charges its drivers in India.
This is significantly lower than Grab’s commission fee, which goes up to 20 per cent, so Jugnoo hopes that this rate will help them lure drivers.
On the other hand, customers will have to pay a “convenience charge”, or a small booking fee, after the first six months of service.
Launch date: May 1
Ryde is a local carpool app that has recently branched into offering private-hire car services as well.
Called RydeX, it is an on-demand ride-hailing service that promises to be competitive.
The company said the driver’s commission will be lowered to 10 per cent, and these savings will be passed on to commuters in the form of lower fares and to drivers in the form of higher earnings.
This translates to fares that are about 5% cheaper than competitors.
Currently, Ryde offers two ride options for its users.
The first is the RydeX Scheduled service which allows users to book a private-hire car from 10 minutes to 7 days in advance – think of it as Ryde’s rendition of GrabHitch.
All RydeX fares are upfront and fixed. It is calculated based on dynamic pricing on a zonal approach, meaning it will take into account the time of day, traffic conditions, tolls, and surcharges of the route.
Ryde also implements a cap of $100 on the total fare, including surge charges.
The second option is RydeEXEC, a premium service that connects users to luxurious cars and “the best drivers available”. These drivers will be screened beforehand, and must meet and maintain service ratings of at least 4.7 to be eligible.
Other noteworthy features of the app include two-way ratings (should the driver or Ryde experience an unsatisfactory ride, they can choose to block the other party), no cancellation fees, and a post-trip tipping service.
Launch date: May 2
This Singapore startup will be officially launching its private-hire car booking services “within the next two weeks”.
According to founder Jason Tan, the fares will be “cheaper than taxis” and “comparable to other private-hire car services”.
Fares will also fluctuate based on demand and supply, he added.
Currently, Tan is looking at hiring 300 licensed private-hire car drivers, and aims to have at least 2,000 drivers in time for the launch.
In a bid to attract drivers to its platform, Filo is offering a 12 per cent commission rate – lower than Grab’s 20 per cent, which will be capped at $400 a month.
According to Tan, drivers are free to use his platform, and will not be bound by any exclusivity agreements.
For the riders, Tan said that FILO will be rolling out “other more attractive services on the app in the coming days” and promises attractive promotions for customers, but did not specify what these would be.
Launch date: By May
4. Mass Vehicle Ledger
Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) is Singapore’s first decentralised peer-to-peer on-demand ride-hailing service.
This new app is a complete game-changer with its unique business model – it charges a small transaction fee for the maintenance of the platform, and zero commission on all rides.
Ultimately, it wants both the driver’s income and commuter’s fare to be protected and competitive without compromising on the quality of the ride service.
This is made possible by the mobility data-ecosystem underpinned by the blockchain technology that MVL is currently developing called MVLchain.
The MVL ecosystem records core data related to driving, accidents, repairs and other car-related transactions on a blockchain, connecting many businesses, services, and people in the vehicle-related industries.
Participants who provide data related to automobile will receive a MVL Point, a reward system used to encourage contribution to the ecosystem.
By doing so, it incentivises safe driving and good services while placing vehicle-related data on the blockchain.
You can read more about MVL’s incentive model and how their blockchain mobility token works here.
Launch date: End of July
Another Possible Player To Join The Scene
Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek has apparently been in talks with ComfortDelGro regarding a “potential partnership” in Singapore.
While there is still no clear indication of whether it will make its way into Singapore, there have been speculation of expansion to Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
They’ve also had a quiet presence in Singapore since last year in the form of a data science office.
However, if they are indeed going to roll out their services in Singapore, they won’t be able to launch their main motorcycle taxi service here as “motorcycles are not allowed to be used for point-to-point transport services, unlike taxis and private-hire cars,” according to a statement by the Land Transport Authority.
On a separate note, ComfortDelGro has been looking to find its place in the disrupted sector ever since Uber and Grab entered the scene in 2013.
Now with the merger of the two giants, the local taxi company has been aggressively pushing out promo codes to users in an attempt to shore up its weakening foothold in the industry.
So if you are a sucker for discounted rides, ComfortDelGro might just serve as an another alternative for you.
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Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post