Singapore is a modern city with inspiring landscapes and towering architecture. Also, it was listed as the world’s second safest city in 2015. Records have shown that living in Singapore is expensive; this includes accommodation, owning a vehicle and so on.
There is a dearth of land space hence, the hike in cost of accommodation. Owning a car in Singapore is a huge financial commitment as well. Vehicle owners are plagued with Insurance costs, Electronic Road pricing (ERP) charges, Road Tax, Certificate of Entitlement premium (COE) and others. Despite these costs, rideshare companies like Uber and Grab seem to have found a way to thrive in the city.
Before now, rideshare companies were exempt from these huge costs levied on car owners, taxi and even car rentals. Uber in Singapore is cheaper than taking regular companies. Where taxies charged $15 (including charges like CBD charge and other surcharges), Uber in Singapore will charge $8 when you request UberX for the same distance covered.
Strict Singaporean laws govern the people and every entity within the city. Perhaps, this might be a primary reason why the country continues to experience low crime rates and earned its status as the biggest and busiest business hub in South East Asia.
New Singaporean Laws and How they Affect Uber
To level the playing field between local taxis and private hire companies, Singapore Land Transport Authority has mandated that private hire car drivers must obtain a vocational license. This will mean that companies like Uber in Singapore will be regulated by transport authorities. According to Channel News Asia, other rules introduced by the LTA include:
- All chauffeur-driven PHCs must bear tamper-evident decals issued by the LTA
- Operators can be fined up to S$10,000 for each offence
- Also, the penalty for dangerous driving has been increased to S$5,000 for the first offence, and $10,000 for the second offence.
What this could mean for Uber
This doesn’t mean Uber will abandon ship like it has threatened to do in other cities when faced with new regulations. As pointed out earlier, Singapore is an efficient country governed by laws, and these new rules don’t seem like they were introduced to frustrate PHCs. Singapore is technologically driven and welcomes innovations that will make life better for its citizens.
Due to these new regulations, it is very likely that Uber will employ more stringent rules for registering drivers. Although Uber drivers are termed independent contractors, defaulting drivers can get Uber fined or banned in Singapore for an extended period of time. The good news for now is that PHC booking service operators are still exempt from licensing fees.
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