Barely a week after GrabHitch’s announcement of its Singapore and Johore cross-border carpooling service, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has informed the ride-sharing company that the service does not comply with regulations if money is collected for these rides.
Singapore does not allow foreign-registered vehicles to provide hire-and-reward services on local soil without a valid public service vehicle license. Singapore-registered vehicles are also not permitted to provide paid cross-border services without a license.
Under section 101 of the Road Traffic Act, “any person caught using a foreign-registered motor vehicle as an unlicensed public service vehicle to convey passengers for hire and reward can be fined up to SGD3,000 and jailed up to six months”.
Grab has since launched the service as a three-week long “free pilot programme”. This is because unpaid cross-border rides are legal.
Introduced late last year, GrabHitch, is a carpooling service that offers rides that are 20%-40% cheaper than other alternatives like taxis , GrabCar and UberX. Passengers ‘hitch’ a ride from drivers to are going to the same destination. Under current carpooling regulations, drivers can offer only two rides per day.