SMRT Corp, a transport operator owned by Temasek, has announced the merger of its taxi business with Premier Taxis to form the second-largest taxi operator in Singapore.
The deal will bring together two companies with a combined fleet of approximately 2,500 taxis.
Premier Taxis was sold to Carros Project Management, a vehicle trading group that is part of property developer BS Capital, in August 2022 for an undisclosed sum.
Following this, SMRT said that Strides Taxi and Strides Automotive Services will be merged with Premier Taxis and Premier Automotive Services, and the new joint venture company will be called Strides Premier.
According to Strides Premier, the merger will help drive greater efficiency and better services for both vehicle hirers and end-users. It added that all current rental agreements with drivers will not be affected by the merger.
The company also believes that demand for taxis and private-hire cars is rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor told Parliament in March that the number of point-to-point transport trips had recovered to about 80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
Singapore’s taxi industry has been hit hard by ride-hailing firms, which entered the market a decade ago. The number of taxis on the road has fallen to fewer than 14,000, less than half the fleet size in 2012. To counter this business erosion, all taxi companies in Singapore have ventured into the private-hire vehicle sphere.
The merger comes at a time when the shrinking number of operators has made economies of scale more relevant for those that remain.
Featured Image Credit: Strides Taxi / Flickr