In a report by The Straits Times, ComfortDelGro was also reportedly planning to open its app to private-hire drivers, effectively opening up another potential revenue stream for the firm.
Then, ComfortDelGro remained relatively mum and didn’t deny or confirm the service, with a spokesperson simply stating: “We are always looking at ways to cater to different commuter and driver needs.”
It seems like we now have a confirmation.
In a media release, ComfortDelGro announced that it will soon pilot a new booking service to “cater to growing passenger demand”.
The service, called ComfortRIDE, will be available on the existing ComfortDelGro Taxi booking app.
Pilot testing will begin on 15 May 2019, and is limited to a small group of passengers at the initial stage.
Depending on response to the service, it may be extended to more passengers.
ComfortRIDE will be bringing together the 12,000 taxis currently in the ComfortDelGro fleet, and “possibly some private hire vehicles depending on demand for the service, especially during peak hours”.
ComfortRIDE will only be available for current bookings and fares are determined by the forces of market demand and supply.
ComfortDelGro also assured that peak demand fares “will be monitored and any surges, will be limited and not exponential”.
It is not certain what these limits will be.
The traditional metered option will also remain available for consumers.
Mr Ang Wei Neng, CEO of ComfortDelGro Taxi said: “Our volume of booking jobs for 2018 has increased by 7.4% and is still experiencing an uptick in the first four months of 2019.”
“The aim of ComfortRIDE is to meet the demand especially during peak hours. With more taxis on the roads during peak hours, commuters will be confirmed a vehicle faster and their waiting time will be reduced. This will create demand, so our cabbies can look forward to better earning opportunities and less empty cruising.”