Following reports that Grab is in talks to take over Singapore 3rd largest taxi operated by SMRT, Uber has now indicated when asked in a Straits Times interview that they will not rule out expanding into the taxi industry.
Both ride-hailing companies have taxi-booking services namely, UberTaxi and GrabTaxi with the latter more established in the taxi industry in Singapore and South East Asia.
Uber cited that they will evaluate the option if it makes rides more affordable and gives their driver-partners more consistent earnings.
Uber and Grab have been positioning themselves as technology companies that provide a matching service in the transport industry. However, with their introduction of rental cars through intermediary companies, an array of transport service products and now dipping their hands in the taxi industry’s cookie jar, they have blurred the lines between being a technology company in the transport industry and being a transport company leveraging on technology.
A shake-up in the taxi industry is welcomed, but lines have to be drawn and regulations in place to ensure these companies do not over-reach their welcome.
Competitions are great, but once a monopoly is established it would mean higher fares, lesser freebies, poorer service standards and innovation for the consumers, impacting even the economy of the country in the process.