There is a new disruptor on the block, a locally developed on-demand ride-sharing app called SWAT is hoping to give Uber and Grab a run for their money, by providing taxi-like-services at bus-like prices. All for a flat fare of $5
1. Booking at least 30 minutes in advance or pre-booked the night before by 10pm.
2. Riders need to go to pre-designated waiting areas such as bus stops, lampposts and taxi stands
3. They also have to pool their rides with others.
For now, pick-ups and drop-offs are also limited to a zone that covers the North, Central and South. This stretches from areas such as Ang Mo Kio to Kallang, Orchard, Raffles Place, and Tanjong Pagar and Marina South at the other end.
As part of SWAT’s pilot launch, the services currently operate from 7am – 10am on weekdays excluding public holidays. Routes and servicing hours will be expanded progressively.
It also promises that travelling time will be no more than 10 minutes longer than a taxi ride.
SWAT is developed by analysing commuters data to identify repeated group travel patterns and uses the data to optimise both vehicle routes and passenger pick-ups to generate the “most efficient route” for all.
The technology allows the app to onboard new passengers without affecting the travel time for existing passengers, explained founder Lin Shijing.
SWAT will be providing rides using a 13-seater Toyota HighAce High Roof mini-bus.
Advantage over Uber / Grab
The key factor that makes SWAT stand out compared to other ride sharing apps is that they accept all valid ride requests and drivers are not given the option of cancelling like Uber and Grab.
Is this going to change the way Singaporeans travel ?
The flat rate of $5 will be attractive only if it represents significant savings . Considering that riders have to walk to their destinations and pool their rides with many others, it may find it challenging to become an alternative for Uber and Grab.