The Singapore Parliament today passed a new law requiring all third-party taxi booking applications like GrabTaxi and Easy Taxi to be regulated under the Land Transport Authority. Failure to register will result in a maximum penalty of $10,000 fine and 6 months jail.

However the regulation is filled with restrictions that will dampen the competitiveness and flexibility of the third-party taxi booking applications.

Photos from GrabTaxi
Photo from GrabTaxi
Photo from The Straits Times
Photo from The Straits Times

One key concern is the function of specifying destinations, which is a very popular option for taxi drivers who are ending their shifts. Using third-party taxi applications, taxi drivers have the option to not pick up a customer based on where he is going. The new regulation by Minister Lui Tuck Yew will ban such option for taxi drivers:

“We do not want taxi drivers to cherry-pick their fares. This is consistent with the approach that we have taken for street hails.”

Although Minister Lui Tuck Yew added that commuters can still choose to indicate their destinations if they think this will increase their chances of getting a taxi even when they are not compelled to do so, taxi drivers are still unable to choose their customers based on destinations.

Do you think our taxi drivers will have lesser income avenue after this regulation by Minister Lui Tuck Yew?