This week, Trans-Cab and Premier Taxi said they would be charging surge pricing type fares for bookings via the Grab app.
This is terrible news.WTF!
Let us be clear, we love the flexibility of having so many options. If you can’t flag a cab on the street, then book a Grab or Uber. You can choose your own Grabcar/UberX, or GrabShare/UberPool. Or if you want to avoid surge pricing, book a regular taxi via the Comfort app. Depends on your budget and time on hand.
And that is precisely what we loved – OPTIONS.
Less options just means bad news for consumers. Grab and Uber were plugging unmet demand in the market. If taxi companies become yet another Uber or Grab, people are going to be choosing between competitors providing the same service, instead of choosing a service that meets our needs best based on the time/money we have.
Additionally, aren’t the taxi companies always complaining of losing buisness to Uber and Grab? Shouldn’t they try to win the market share back by offering even more competitive prices?
Anyways, we reckon that it all comes down to who gives better promos.
Of course, you can still try to book a cab using Comfort’s app so you don’t incur the surge pricing, but we wish you good luck because which sane taxi driver (and we sure hope they are, if they have a licence) would use Comfort’s app and forfeit the surge fare?
The supposed ‘good’ news that taxis may cost less than they do currently during off-peak hours is also cold comfort. We all know how this works – the system rarely favours the consumer or even the drivers; the dealer – in this case the companies – always wins.
ComfortDelGro and SMRT Taxis have not said they will do the same (yet). But mark our words, once you first movers, even the staunchest of hold-outs will follow suit.
And when that happens, we do not want to be trying to get a cab on Saturday night. In town. When it’s raining cats and dogs.
The surge pricing is expected to take into effect middle of this month (March).