UberFlash, the new service from ride-hailing firm Uber and taxi operator ComfortDelgro, will start from from 6:00am on Friday (19th January). The service, available on the Uber app, promises faster rides by matching commuters with the nearest UberX private-hire car or ComfortDelgro taxi. Fares will however be based on dynamic prices which means they may be lower during low demand periods or higher than a metered fare during high demand periods.
Uber and ComfortDelGro at an event to officially launch the service on Thursday however said that fares will be an average of five to 10 percent cheaper than an equivalent UberX ride. Mr. Brooks Entwistle, Uber Asia Pacific Chief Business Efficer, described the partnership between the two companies as being in line with Uber's 'global strategy of partnering with world-class institutions'.
ComfortDelgro Taxis Chief Executive Mr. Ang Wei Neng added that UberFlash is the first in a series of collaborative efforts between the two firms but declined to give details on the other upcoming collaborations. "We are leveraging on each other's strengths to improve our service which will benefit our drivers, commuters and Singapore's economy at large," he said.
While he declined to comment on how many ComfortDelgro taxi drivers had signed up for UberFlash, Uber Singapore General Manager Warren Tseng said the service had generated a 'tremendous amount of interest' among cabbies. Mr. Tseng said that while other aspects of the partnership between Uber and ComfortDelgro were still under review by the Competition Commission of Singapore, the two firms had been granted the go-ahead to proceed with the launch of UberFlash.
As part of the agreement between the two companies, Uber will take a 10 percent cut of the fare from ComfortDelgro cabbies from each UberFlash booking, he said. In comparison, the commission of each ride taken from Uber's private-hire drivers is 20 percent of each fare. While taxi drivers will still able to take on streethail jobs, UberFlash will allow them more options to supplement their existing streams of income, he said.