SMRT Taxis launched a new private car hire business yesterday (18 April 2016), making the first taxi-operator company in Singapore to venture into the on-demand private hire car industry.
Strides Transportation, a wholly owned subsidiary of SMRT Taxis, will be rolling out a fleet of 300 brand new Toyota Altis sedans over the next 6 months to provide chauffeured and car rental services. The business has signed a one-year partnership with ride-booking service Grab, and up to 200 drivers with Strides can sign on to take bookings exclusively via the Grab app.
Previously, SMRT Taxis had ventured into a taxi-booking app venture. In September 2014, SMRT announced a joint venture with London-based Hailo Network Limited to form Hailo Singapore Pte Ltd. The taxi booking application, Hailo, was widely advertised on SMRT advertising platforms. However, the app website and social media outlets have been inactive since June 2015,. Despite the inactivity, Hailo was issued a three-year certificate of registration by the LTA in December 2015 under the Third-Party Taxi Booking Service Provides Act enacted on 11 May 2015. Service providers must be issued with a certificate of registration in order to operate in the country.
With private hire cars becoming more popular through on-demand ride booking apps such as Uber and Grab, Strides will expand the available driver supply pool for such commuters, enhancing commuters’ point-to-point transport options.