Grab Removes ComfortDelGro Cabbies from JustGrab

One of the rideshare services found in Singapore is a taxi cab app that both Uber and Grab offer to taxi drivers, and which is regulated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The LTA allows taxi drivers to work with GrabTaxi and Uber to supplement their income. Taxi drivers in Singapore are not car owner's, they rent a cab from a fleet and pay a flat fee per day for the use of the cab.

ComfortDelGro allows over 13,000 taxi drivers to work with UberFlash and GrabTaxi.

Only a month ago Grab announced that ComfortDelGro all ComfortDelGro drivers could work within the just grab platform, however, a month later, this was overturned, although the drivers can still work for GrabTaxi.

What is the difference between GrabTaxi and Just Grab? The fare, a GrabTaxi is an app much like Uber's where a taxi driver can be linked to a customer, and the fare is set by the ride. JustGrab is an app that provides a flat fare rate, and as such, is not legal for taxi drivers, since taxis are a metered service by law. The LTA issued a warning to Grab, and they responded by removing the tax drivers access to JustGrab. The LTA stated that "Taxi drivers are reminded that they can only accept flat fares set by registered third-party taxi booking service providers such as Uber and Grab if these are endorsed by taxi companies."

As such rides are not endorsed, these cabbies are deemed by LTA to have "overcharged" commuters.

GrabTaxi head Melvin Vu told The Straits Times the offer to opt into JustGrab had been extended to ComfortDelGro cabbies as a means for them to earn additional income.

"We strongly believe that taxi drivers, as self-employed individuals, should be given the choice and flexibility to join all platforms, and not be limited by corporate arrangements," he said.

"We will continue to actively engage the LTA to encourage innovative thinking and taxi companies to work with us on improving driver livelihoods and passenger experience."

National Taxi Association executive secretary Ang Hin Kee agreed that cabbies should be allowed to take bookings from any booking service.

This would allow for a more open and competitive market, he said.

Cabbies are not employed by the taxi operators and only rent their vehicles from the firms so placing too many restrictions on their choices would make it seem like an employee-employer relationship, he added.

"If operators restrict drivers to only one booking app, it essentially limits their customer choice," said the MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.