Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Regulation of Changes to Consumer-Facing Terms by Major Ride Hailing Platforms

02 Aug 2022In Parliament
Mr Saktiandi Supaat asked the Minister for Transport in light of Grab’s latest round of updates to its terms to reduce passengers’ grace period for ride hailing

a.     what is the type and extent of supervision that the Government maintains over major ride hailing platforms, and particularly over the latter’s ability to unilaterally change their consumer-facing terms;

b.     whether the Government regulates the number of such platforms operating in Singapore; and

c.     if so, whether it is time to allow greater competition.

Ms Mariam Jaafar asked the Minister for Transport in light of the imposition by Grab of a waiting fee that is charged automatically to Grab commuters for making their assigned driver wait for more than three minutes

a.     whether such a change in fee structure requires the approval of the Ministry; and

b.     if so, whether a minimum period is required between the fee change announcement and its implementation.

Reply by Minister for Transport S Iswaran:

1.     The Government’s regulatory approach is to facilitate an open, safe and contestable Point-to-Point (P2P) market in the transport sector. There is no regulatory limit on the number of ride-hailing platforms that can operate in Singapore. P2P operators with more than 800 vehicles are required to be licensed and all operators must comply with safety-related regulations. They then compete to meet different types of demand with attractive fare structures. Our regulations focus on ensuring the safety of P2P drivers and commuters, and that fares are transparent and clearly communicated to commuters.

2.     The Government does not intervene in the setting of fares but requires operators to state and publish all fares clearly, including any additional charges to be levied. Licensed ride-hail operators must also give commuters sufficient notice by announcing any changes in schemes and fees to the public at least seven days ahead of implementation.

3.     Grab’s move to shorten its waiting and cancellation grace periods before charging penalty fees – which was announced seven days prior to implementation, as required – is its own commercial decision and may differ from that of other P2P operators.

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