Major players like Go-Jek will have to apply for the ride-hail licence. (Photo: asia.nikkei.com)

Singapore (VNA) – All ride-hail and street-hail service providers with a fleet size of more than 800 vehicles in Singapore will have to be licensed from June 2020, after the Parliament passed the Point-to-Point (P2P) Passenger Transport Industry Bill on August 6.

Licence applications for street-hail and ride-hail service operators, including carpool operators, will open next February. Major players such as Grab and Go-Jek will have to apply for the ride-hail licence, while existing taxi operators will be deemed to have a street-hail licence. Meanwhile, ride-hail service operators with fewer than 800 vehicles will be exempted. 

Under the new rules, it will be an offence for any person to provide street-hail or ride-hail services without a licence or an exemption. If convicted, these operators may face a fine of up to 10,000 SGD (7,241 USD) or imprisonment of up to six months, or both. A further fine of up to 500 SGD may be imposed for each day that the offence continues after conviction.

The Public Transport Council (PTC) will work to ensure taxi and private-hire car fares are clear and transparent. Licensed operators will be required to provide the flat fares (excluding electronic road pricing fee) for taxi and private-hire car bookings upfront to commuters, but they will be allowed to set the flat fares independently.

Singapore now has about 20,000 taxis and 45,000 private-hire cars, with more than two-thirds of all point-to-point commutes made via ride-hailing apps and the rest being street-hails.

Taxis and private-hire cars made 276 million trips last year.-VNA