It was just 1 week ago when the highly anticipated UberFLASH service had gone live. While private-hire drivers mulled over the increased competition, Comfort Delgro Taxi Drivers were waiting with bated breath on the opportunity to have a taste of what is surge fare during periods of high demands.
UberFLASH is a new service that combines both taxis and private-hire cars under one service. The introduction of UberFLASH comes shortly after Comfort Delgro announced its plan to purchase a majority stake in Uber’s Lion City Car Rental (LCR).
Lukewarm response from Taxi Drivers
1 week on, TODAYonline reported that many drivers have stopped using UberFLASh. According to Uber, about 30% of Comfort Delgro Drivers who signed up are not using the platform.
Many taxi drivers have complained of too low fare and lower earnings as the main reason for staying away from UberFLASH. Taxi drivers claim that fares were lower for trips on UberFLASH compared to street-hails.
Apart from the lower fare, Taxi Drivers are still required to pay a 10% commission for all jobs on UberFLASH.
Drivers claim that although the number of trips that they do each day has increased significantly through UberFLASH, their earning did not increase in tandem due to the many low fare trips that they had to do.
Comfort Delgro offers incentives for Taxi Drivers to drive on UberFLASH
In a bid to encourage drivers to take jobs from UberFLASH, Comfort Delgro is offering their drivers a daily incentive of $5! Drivers who have signed up and logged in to the UberFLASH system will qualify for a daily incentive of $5 when they achieve a minimum of 22 online days between 29 January to 31 March 2018. Drivers need to turn on the app for at least 8 hours a day.
The driver interviewed brushed off the incentive offered as ‘lame’.
Commuters have the last laugh
The battle for market share between the ride-hailing and taxi companies has reaped many benefits for commuters. These companies have been aggressively dishing out promo codes and reducing fares to get riders to their platform.
The introduction of UberFLASH promised riders lower fares of up to 10 percent of usual UberX fares. The UberFLASH fare reduction came as a shock to many Uber drivers after Uber just announced a fare hike for the benefits of drivers only in January 2018.
Mr. Mohammed, a private-hire driver for the past 2 years, spoke on his displeasure and unfairness of the new UberFLASH system. “We (private-hire and taxi drivers) drive on the same platform but we pay twice the amount of commission, we private-hire cars cannot offset car costs when paying taxes and cannot do street pick-up. I wonder why is it so unfair when we all serve the same purpose“