Singapore’s Ryde to launch private hire car service on May 2

Terence Zhou, chief executive of Ryde.
Lianhe Zaobao

Singapore carpooling app Ryde will be launching its new private hire car service next Wednesday (May 2), the company said on Thursday (Apr 26).

First revealed on Mar 28, RydeX is a new service that Ryde said would be part of its growth expansion strategy.

The company, which is currently used by 55,000 private car and ComfortDelGro taxi drivers in Singapore, said earlier that it had already started accepting driver sign-ups via its app.

Terence Zou, founder and CEO of Ryde Technologies had said that RydeX would complete the company’s mobility suite to serve users better.

“Over the past two years, we have been growing our base of both users and drivers, and RydeX will provide Singaporeans an effective alternative to book a private hire car,” he said in a statement then.

Ryde told Business Insider on Thursday that more than 5,000 drivers have registered to be on the RydeX service so far.

When it launches in May, the new service will not have an on-demand service, but instead allow commuters to schedule a ride between 10 minutes and seven days in advance. Unlike existing apps, users can choose to request for a specific driver on the service.

A second option called RydeEXEC will offer luxury car services. Drivers are required to maintain a service rating of at least 4.7 to be eligible for RydeEXEC.

According to The Business Times, Zou said at a launch event that an on-demand ridehailing service will only be introduced when the service garners a critical mass of 10,000 to 15,000 private-hire car drivers.

According to Ryde, the driver commission rate for RydeX will be set at 10%, around 10% lower than market rate.

Commuter fares will start from a base fare of S$8, and will be priced at an average of S$0.60 per KM, resulting in fares that Ryde says are around 5% lower than market rate, The Business Times reported.

The upfront fare system will include all tolls and surcharges, Ryde said.

Prices will also be subject to a surge factor when demand is high, but this will be capped at a maximum of $100, The Straits Times reported, citing Zou.

The Straits Times said in its report that Ryde plans to add another 10,000 drivers to its fleet in the next three months.

The company is also introducing post-trip tipping, and a 5 per cent cashback programme for users on the RydePay wallet.

Read also: Go-Jek in partnership talks with ComfortDelGro after Uber’s departure: Report