Why Riders Should Appreciate Uber In Singapore

Taken from Uber Trooper

Despite all the angst, rantings and complains on social media by riders, I feel that many of us have forgotten what it was like less than 3 to 5 years ago. Although private hire cars such as Uber is the new normal in Singapore now, in the not too distant past, things was not that rosy for passengers.

Waiting & Calling Frustration

Most of you would remember how difficult to get a taxi in the morning and evening peak periods last time. You would be standing on the streets and jostling with other people for “prime” spots to get a taxi. If you decide to make a phone booking, you would be lucky if your call was connected and you were not put on hold. (COMFORT did improve their system by having a a booking app. However, I had to try booking many times as there were no drivers available).

It the late afternoon, often we had to haggle with taxi drivers because most of them are changing shift.  In the bewitching hours between 11 pm to 12 midnight, count yourself lucky if you can get a cab on the road. Most taxi drivers are either waiting for call bookings or waiting for the midnight charge to start.

At Your Doorstep

Now, you can literally get a ride within minutes at your doorstep. The average arrival time is about 5 minutes. Maximum 10 minutes tops. Your booking is done through the app and completed in less than 1 minute.

Affordable fares

With the ongoing various options,  competition and increased supply in the market, this has resulted in lower fares generally. What you were paying $20 back then, would cost you about $15 now. For those taking rides from the airport or after midnight, you save on the airport and midnight surcharges. Double joy for those who book an Uber at the airport after midnight!

Still there are passengers who complain about the high fares during surge pricing. Remember, out of 10 rides that you made, you would have probably saved quite a bit for 7 rides as compared to taking normal taxis. You would have probably enjoyed perks such as promo codes. So stop whining if you have to pay a bit more for the 3 rides!

Multiple Destinations

Unlike its competitor, Uber does not charge an additional fee for multiple stops. You are only charged for the additional distance travelled for the stops. You don’t have to argue with the driver whether the additional stop is along the way, within 5km or more than 5km from your drop-off point. (Do note that Uber drivers are not obliged to agree to multiple stops. It helps if you ask nicely and let them know early.)

Every Booking Is A Surprise To Drivers

When  a booking comes in, an Uber driver cannot see the destination of the booking. The driver can only see the name, ratings and pick-up location. We do not know the fare and the drop-off location.  The driver will only know the drop-off destination once the trip is started. This system benefits the passengers as drivers cannot cherry pick passengers. For Uber’s competitor, the drivers can see the fare and the drop-off location.  Do you think they are more likely to reject bookings that are for short distance or to remote areas?

Uber Started The Evolution

With Uber’s brand recognition and presence overseas, this has helped the authorities and the public to accept the concept of private hire car community in Singapore. With such a big brand making headlines abroad, Singapore as a modern city, cannot be seem to be afraid of the new tech economy. This caused  seismic change in the whole transportation landscape where you as consumers benefit.

So before you rant any further on Facebook, Stomp, ASS about your Uber ride, please imagine if Uber did not exist.

If you like what you read, please follow me on Facebook here.

 

The abuse of GrabShare and GrabHitch and who is paying for it

GrabShare is the same thing as UberPool. In Singapore, there is another service called GrabHitch. For details on any of these services, please Google them.

GrabShare is 30% cheaper than GrabCar charges. But the app provider which in this case is the Grab Company, still charges 20% for providing the service through their app.

The service provider which is the driver! who accepts the share trip, will be earning 30% less if there are no other passengers to share the ride. But if there are other passengers, the commission payable to the App provider is now 40%.

Let’s break it down to 2 things. Service Provider and App Provider.

App Provider like Uber and Grab control the prices charged for services provided by Service Providers who they call Partners.

Service Provider are all those who use their own cars or rent a car to provide the service, based on the Terms and Conditions set by the App Provider. The App Provider also has the power to terminate service providers at will.

The abuse starts when the App Provider has the ability to control the prices for providing the service.

 

Uber in Singapore

While the Uber service has come under fire in most countries with taxi drivers attacking both Uber drivers and its passengers, the service operates peacefully together with its rival Grab, which is backed by the Government.

In order to level the playing field so as to maintain the peace between Private Cars used as Taxis and Taxis, new rules and regulations were put in place.  In addition to that, additional requirements for child seats! were placed on cars doing Uber and Grab services. See “Private Hire Cars not exempt from child seat requirement, But Taxis are.

Then there are the additional services like GrabHitch which is unique to the GRAB ecosystem. This falls under the real car pooling system where a private car owner can select and pick up a rider traveling his way.

This has been abused by some retards! who found that it is cheaper to travel by GrabHitch! than the Public Bus or MRT system! when you have a group of 3 or more passengers.

Reason is, Under the Public Transport system, fare is based on the number of passengers. Under GrabHitch, fare is based on the distance.

While the authorities in Singapore have successfully managed to allow Uber, Grab and Taxis to coexist in the environment, something must be done to the misers who exploit the system for their benefit and use public resources for it.

My suggestion is for GrabHitch pricing to be charged by the number of passengers! and not by distance!

This is required in order to protect the public transport charging system.

In the mean time, kudos to the Singapore Government for being the first in successfully having UBER operate peacefully together with Taxis! even though UBER claims to just be the technology partner and not a Taxi operator and the ones who are bearing the brunt of all this are the Uber Drivers.