Singapore will tighten regulations on ride-hailing operators such as Grab and Gojek, bringing safety-related rules for the services in line with taxi operators to better protect commuters and drivers. Senior Minister for Transport Janil Puthucheary outlined a new bill governing the ride-hailing industry in the country’s parliament Tuesday. He said ride-hailing operators with at least 800 vehicles will be licensed. Taxi companies will have another license. The new regulatory regime comes six years after ride-hailing apps began gaining popularity in Singapore, where prior to 2013 there were 28,000 taxis. Today, there are about 20,000 taxis and 45,000 private hire cars, providing 6% of all journeys in the city-state.
The bill will give the Land Transport Authority the power to set safety requirements on licensed operators and mandate closer supervision such as by tracking the number of accidents and driver offenses. If convicted, unlicensed operators may face a fine of as much as S$10,000 ($7,200) or imprisonment for as long as six months, or both, according to a joint statement by the Land Transport Authority and the Public Transport Council.
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